Ontario’s Public Health Branch overseas a number of programs that support child health and well-being. Local Boards of Health across the province deliver the Public Health Mandatory Health Programs and Services. Public Health=s population-based approach to health promotion and primary prevention is complemented by programs and services that aim to identify and support populations at increased risk for poor health outcomes. The Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program, Preschool Speech and Language initiative, and newly introduced Infant Hearing Screening and Communication Development Program are examples of more targeted supports for child health that Public Health is involved in.
Provincial Public Health objectives and requirements range from the promotion of preconception health and healthy pregnancies, through early growth, development and readiness to learn, to the well being of youth. Such a comprehensive approach includes initiatives to enhance the capacity of parents, families, caregivers and communities to care for and support children and youth.
In addition to the Reproductive and Child Health programs, a number of Public Health Programs address a variety of determinants relevant to child health. These include immunization against infectious disease, the protection of healthy natural and physical environments, the prevention of injuries and substance abuse, the promotion of sexual health and healthy lifestyle choices, and the creation of safe and supportive social environments. Ontario has been a major contributor to improvements in children=s well being. Significant achievements by Ontario include:
The investment in the Learning Opportunities Grant to assist children at-risk;