Child Care and Children's Programs

Best Start Network (BSN)

The vision

Durham's Best Start NetworkAll children (0-12 years) in The Regional Municipality of Durham will be ready and eager to achieve their best in the community. Families in The Regional Municipality of Durham will be supported, allowing all children the opportunity to be ready and eager to achieve their best in the community

Background and overview

Best Start was initiated in 2005 by the Government of Ontario to support children and families from birth to Grade 1.

The Best Start Network (BSN) was established when existing service providers came together to plan for the needs of the Durham community. The Regional Municipality of Durham, designated as the Consolidated Municipal Service Manager (CMSM), assumes a lead role by developing and implementing an annual Child Care Service Management Plan.

Funding for the Best Start Program has been used to create and sustain additional licensed child-care spaces, additional wage subsidies for staff and additional funding for special needs resourcing programs. In addition, the Best Start Network produces and circulates resources to the early learning community, hosts community meetings regarding current early learning issues, and submits position papers to both the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, as required.

Durham’s BSN provides an opportunity for the region’s six school boards, child-care service providers and support agencies to meet and share information and ideas. Many partnerships have developed as a result of BSN activities. The Province of Ontario is in the process of modernizing the child-care and early-learning system. In Durham, the BSN is working hard to navigate through this transition.