Halton helps parents ease the transition to kindergarten for their children

Connecting people to services is a strategic priority for Halton Region. The dedicated staff of the Region’s Health Department work hard to ensure that Halton’s parents and guardians have access to the information they need to give their children a safe and healthy experience at home and at school.

One of the most important transitions in a young child’s life is the one from preschool (or home) to kindergarten. While it can be an exciting change for many parents/guardians and children, kindergarten can also be a nervous, unpredictable time for some youngsters and their families. Whether you and your child feel prepared for kindergarten or are worried about the transition to “big kids school”, it’s comforting to know that Halton Region has the tools you need to help your child get Ready, Set, Go!

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Provided to all parents of children entering kindergarten within the Halton District School Board (HDSB) and the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB), the Ready, Set, Go! package provides parents with some excellent resources to help their child thrive in kindergarten. For the past four years, the Region has collaborated with the HDSB, HCDSB and Ontario Early Years Centres to create a practical toolkit for parents that includes information about:

Parents and guardians can also visit halton.ca/readysetgo or halton.ca/haltonparents to access a variety of helpful community supports and programs, checklists, tips and much more! We hope that you and your family find these resources useful.

At Halton Region, we have made it a high priority to help connect residents to the services they need. Our HaltonParents team of public health nurses is committed to helping parents and guardians access the best programs, supports and resources available to help their children succeed in kindergarten and beyond. We are also proud of the strong partnerships we have with the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, Ontario Early Years Centres and the many other community groups who contribute to the positive development of our children and families. Programs such as Ready, Set, Go! are another example of what makes Halton such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.

New online tools for parents: “Kindergarten: Ready, Set, Go!”

We’ve been making our website a priority over the past few years – to improve the information and resources we have available to the residents of Halton and increase the interactivity of our site. Now, parents of children ages three or four will find everything they need to know to help prepare their child for the transition to kindergarten in the new “Kindergarten: Ready, Set, Go!” pages.

Prepared in partnership between Halton Region, the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic School Board and the Ontario Early Years Centres, parents will find comprehensive information and interactive tools such as:

Topics and resources cover the five key areas of child development, health and building healthy lifestyles, setting routines, parenting tips, reading, schedules of school PD days and holidays, and upcoming local parenting presentations.Ready Set Go

In Halton, almost one in four five-year olds (Our Kids Network Report Card, Early Development Instrument) results is not ready for school. Halton Region, in partnership with our community organizations, want to help change this statistic and ensure parents in our region have the information, resources and support they need to help give their children the confidence and skills they need to succeed in school. The “Kindergarten: Ready, Set, Go!” pages should certainly help them achieve this goal.

Keep in mind that parents with children of any age – from pregnancy to raising teenagers –can connect directly with one of our public health nurses or child development staff at any time, in many ways, through HaltonParents:

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

New High School for Oakville

On November 9, I had the pleasure of attending the official groundbreaking ceremony for a future high school in Oakville External Link. This is one of three new schools External Link in Halton Region that are scheduled to open by September 2012.

Education is one of the most important tools we can give our youth and the ability of a community to provide access to quality education is fundamental to its continued success. As Halton Region continues to grow, it is important that we work together to provide the necessary social infrastructure to meet the needs of the many families who call Halton home.

Participating in this event was especially rewarding because we were taking the first step toward building a school where many of our children will grow up, discover their interests and become leaders. In this positive space, every student can take full advantage of their learning opportunity and work with their teachers to expand their knowledge of the world.

In many ways, a school is more than a building or a collection of classrooms. It is a place to inspire and be inspired; a place to meet new people and make new friends. It is an office for teachers to practice their vocation, and a forum for parents to get involved with their children’s education. It is a venue for student performances, and a gathering place for community events. 

I look forward to the ongoing development of this new school. This exciting project truly demonstrates that as Halton Region grows, it continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

New High School for Milton

On October 14, I had the pleasure of attending the official groundbreaking ceremony for a future high school in Milton.

In a community growing as fast as Milton, it is important that the necessary infrastructure is developed to meet the needs of the many growing families in the community.

This ceremony was especially significant because we were celebrating both the construction of a new school as well as the continued successful development of Milton and Halton Region.

In many ways, a school is more than a building or a collection of classrooms. It is a place to inspire and be inspired; a place to meet new people and make new friends. It is an office for teachers to practice their vocation, and a forum for parents to get involved with their children’s education. It is a venue for student performances, and a gathering place for community events.

This high school will provide our youth with a safe, comfortable, and supportive learning environment. In this positive space, every student can take full advantage of their learning opportunity and work with their teachers to expand their knowledge of the world.

As mentors, instructors, and role models our teachers make up the foundation of our schools, new and old. Their diligence and hard work encourages students to believe in themselves. They provide the learning and caring that will help students be successful in life.

I look forward to the ongoing development of this new school. This exciting project truly demonstrates that as Halton Region grows, it continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”