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Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services aims to reduce wait lists

By Martin Irvine [1]

BELLEVILLE – Ontario parents with preschoolers who have difficulties with speech and language may see their children get help sooner.

The government of Ontario is increasing funding to the Preschool Speech and Language Program by almost seven million dollars in the next two years, according to an announcement made by Minister of Children and Youth Services Tracy MacCharles.

“This government has heard the concerns of families and is taking action to improve the service and outcomes of children and youth with special needs across the province,” MacCharles said.

About 10% of children need help developing speech and language skills, the ministry said in a news release Wednesday morning. The funding will go to 31 Ontario agencies that provide speech and language related services to children who face communication challenges.

This funding will help these children get help sooner, MacCharles says.

Communication skills are critical to a child’s future and it’s important for parents to get help for their children right away if they think their children are having issues, the Ministry of Children and Youth Services website [2] says.

This announcement is part of the government’s four-part economic plan for Ontario. In that plan, the government says it wants to build Ontario up by investing in people’s talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives, and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.