What's New

03 December 2014

Ontario Government - Reducing Waitlist for Preschool Speech and Language Programs

From the Ontario Newsroom, we are pleased to share the following News Release

December 3, 2014

Helping  10,000 More Children with Speech and Language Challenges

Ontario is helping 10,000 more children with speech and language  difficulties by reducing wait times for speech and language services.

Additional funding is being provided to Ontario's 31 Preschool  Speech and Language lead agencies which provide services to children with  communication challenges from birth to the time they start school. These  services include:

  • Assessment of a child's communication skills
  • Interventions such as parent workshops, group therapy
    and individual therapy
  • Transition planning when a child is eligible to start
  • Referrals to other agencies, if needed

Supporting children and youth to reach their full potential is  part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is  building 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.


  •  The Ontario government is increasing funding by almost $7 million over the next two years to the Preschool Speech and Language Program, which is delivered through 31
    lead agencies across the province.
  • Last year, more than 58,000 children received Preschool Speech and Language services.
  • About one in 10 children needs help developing speech and language skills.
  • Services through Ontario's Preschool Speech and Language Program are free of cost and do not require a doctor's referral.


  • Find out more about speech  and language disorders
  • Find  your local Preschool  Speech and Language Program
  • Check out Ontario’s Special Needs Strategy


    "Speech  and language skills are essential to children’s development. When we  address communication difficulties early, we increase a child’s ability to  learn and succeed. Today’s announcement will help children get the support
    they need sooner. 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."

    — Tracy MacCharles, Minister of Children and Youth Services

    "Speech,  language and literacy development in the early years play a critical role  in all aspects of children’s development and are essential in developing  their love of learning. Arriving at school with these skills helps them  learn and be curious and successful in school and in life. Addressing  speech and language challenges early, when their little brains are most
    sensitive to change and support, helps prepare children for life and  succeed in school."

    — Dr. Jean Clinton, Associate Clinical Professor, Department
    of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University 


    Aly Vitunski
    Minister’s Office

    Anne Machowski-Smith
    Communications Branch, 416-325-5156
For Public Inquiries:

Call toll-free  1-866-821-7770

Ministry of Children and Youth Services