$4 Return for every $1 Invested in Early Childhood Programming

Featured member: Ottawa Carleton Headstart Association of Preschools (OCHAP)


Headstart programs are a unique example of how Ottawa invests in their community by providing barrier free early intervention programs for multi-risk children and their families.  Children 15 months to 5 years of age can attend a full or half day program that supports school readiness by placing a particular emphasis on the development of social emotional skills, fostering healthy attachment, and supporting family and child mental health.


All Headstart programs are strategically operating in socio-economically vulnerable communities as identified in the Early Development Instrument Cycle 3 and the Ottawa Neighbourhood Study 2011.


Headstart families sometimes struggle to meet their basic needs and require services, resource awareness and support to help their child(ren) thrive and grow.  Although we know the benefits of early childhood programs not all parents have confidence in what is seen as formal education; and life experiences have contributed to their resistance in having their child cared for by someone other than themselves. We engage parents by continuously providing opportunities and support for growth and change through services specifically focused on child development, speech and language, positive parenting, child and family literacy, food security and nutrition. The programs operate either as an integral part of, or in partnership with Community Health Centres, Children’s Aid Society, and the City of Ottawa benefitting the entire community through their ability to leverage resources.


When we invest in families where they are at in life, we have a greater chance in ensuring all children have the chance to Grow Up Great.


To access this opportunity or for more information, parents can phone or visit the programs directly, apply through the City of Ottawa Childcare Registry and Waitlist online or by dialing 311.


For the full list of Headstart programs visit our website at www.ochap.ca. 


 Submitted by/De la part de:


A member of the Ottawa Child and Youth Initiative/

Membre de l'Initiative pour les enfants et les jeunes d'Ottawa