Community includes a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. Community may also include a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. Communities play a unique role in child development as a resource that influences children through their developing years.

What is happening in the community?

  • Communities are increasingly integrating the resources available for children and families.
  • Integration of resources means that, more than ever, community development organizations are working together to make sure that all children have access to out of school time programs.
  • Communities still dictate what kinds of programming make sense; therefore, locally developed and place-based ideas are being nurtured through more elaborate but stable partnerships.
  • In order for these programs to be successful, the wants and needs of the community need to be discussed and resources must be deployed strategically.
  • A community forum (i.e. community table) is a critical component for contributing agencies to have input on available resources, comment on goals and outcomes and make sure that all corners of the community are served.

In order for these programs to be successful, the wants and needs of the community need to be discussed, and resources must be deployed strategically.

What are the ways you can partner with community members?

  • "Partnering" refers to those who contribute in a positive way to a project where services are being offered to children and families.
  • A partner can be an individual, a group, an organization or business that contributes to the effort of providing services to children and families.
  • Contributions can be made with money, time (volunteerism), service provision, or even with donations of items in-kind.
  • Partners contribute both philanthropically and as paid service; each partnership will have unique circumstance.

To inquire about partnerships that make sense in your community, contact:

  • A local school,
  • The school district,
  • A business you know to be involved in community service, or
  • A well-known community organization.

What are the ways you can advocate for children’s out-of-school time (OST)?

  • Members of a community can become part of the solution as well as contributors to the process of community-building.
  • Ask your child's school what program are available after school, on weekends, at spring or summer break.
  • Ask your local politician his or her view on the importance of out of school time programming.
  • Register your child in out of school time programs.

Check out your city’s community centre websites and parks and recreation websites for more information on how and when to register children for upcoming programs/activities.

OST programs can also be found in your local schools. Check out your school district’s website for more information:

Stats Canada (2008) reports that non-violent youth crime peaks between the hours of 3 and 6 pm, accounting for 20% of police-reported youth crime on weekdays.

Why should all people care about OST?

  • Research finds that children who spend three or more hours alone per day show an increased risk of drug and alcohol use, higher stress, anger, depression and behaviour problems, lower self-esteem and lower academic achievement. MDI tools for Action.
  • Parents require more time to earn income, commute to work, and complete family tasks. OST programming buys back time and saves money.
  • Strong communities develop when children make good connections between each other, between themselves and older kids in the community and with adults whom they trust.
  • Neighbourhoods thrive when people know each other and speak to one another on a first name basis.
  • Businesses situated in tightly knit communities can benefit from patrons who live and work there.
  • Seniors and retirees have much to offer the younger generation, and taking part in the lives of youth can combat isolation.
  • Older youth can benefit from OST programming by learning from volunteer experiences, developing credentialed skills and gaining work experience and self-confidence.

Stats Canada (2008) reports that non-violent youth crime peaks between the hours of 3 and 6 pm, accounting for 20% of police-reported youth crime on weekdays.

The key factors in supporting positive outcomes include access to, and sustained participation in, quality programming with strong partnerships with schools, families and the community.

How does OST contribute to the creation of good citizens?

Through youth leadership, youth learn the value of contributing to their community and giving back—an important life value and skill that OST can provide to kids through social and emotional growth and resilience-building.

Where do I advertise our OST programs?

How do community members fill the need for other significant adults in the lives of children?

By volunteering in OST programs, and being involved as leaders and learners.

Find volunteer opportunities through these websites:

  • Coming soon

How can I fund my program?

Check out funding opportunities through these sites:

  • Government
  • Provincial
  • City
  • More information coming soon

Transportation opportunities: information coming soon