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Our Response to the Ontario 2024 Budget

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Hamilton, Ontario - April 1, 2024


Image is the logo of Balance Support and Self Care Studios

The Ontario government released its 2024 Budget on March 26th, 2024. In our meetings with the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, we've recommended that more funding is needed to support autistic and other disabled groups.


We welcome the news that this government is increasing its investment in the Ontario Autism Program (OAP) by $120 million in 2024-25.


Part of the Capacity Action Plan that was implemented in 2021 included a grant program for public and private service providers to increase their core service offerings. Capacity has been an issue for years in this province which makes it difficult for families to access the services their children need. We hope this increased investment means that these grants will continue. However, we still need to look at additional ways of recruiting and retaining professionals in the field; as well as making more services available to underserved groups - particularly rural, northern, Francophone and Indigenous communities.


Other budget highlights include:


  • $310 million over three years to community organizations that support vulnerable populations, including children with special needs and people with developmental disabilities

  • $18 million investment in the 2024–25 school year to help the most vulnerable students, which includes an $8 million investment to help students with special education needs navigate the school system and transitioning out of it and another $10 million for increased in‐class supports specifically for higher-needs students


While promising, we hope more details will emerge about what exactly this funding will be used on. We strongly advocate that Ontario's public education system needs a drastic overhaul and that systemic changes are needed. Simply putting more money into a system that isn't working to begin with would be ineffectual.


We look forward to continuing to work with MCCSS on finding ways to improve the OAP. However, we feel that more attention needs to be given to other disabled children and youth who don't have access to the same level of direct funding and support. 


We are also available to meet with the Ministry of Education to discuss exploring better ways of supporting exceptional students with diverse needs.


For more information, please contact our team at balanceSSCS@gmail.com 


Balance Support & Self Care Studios was created with parents and caregivers of individuals with diverse needs in mind. We recognize the value of the staff and community. We are committed to striving for excellence through inclusiveness, team collaboration, quality of services, and the participation and contributions of volunteers and community members. To learn more, please check out our website 


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