Community Initiatives

Pathway to Connect for the Early Years

pathway-to-connect-pg1-high-resThe System of Care Work Group of the Hamilton Best Start Network developed a pathway that showcases key access points to services for families and their children. The pathway provides information on both universal and specialized services.

To view and/or print the Pathway to Connect, click here.

An overview on the development of the pathway and guide on how to use this resource is available click here.

To order printed copies of the pathway, send an email to or call 905-905-546-2424 ext. 3010.


Financial Supports Catalogue


The Basic Needs Work Group of the Hamilton Best Start Network identified several resources available to low-income families to help with their basic needs.

Some of these resources are not well known by families, yet they provide an opportunity to access additional funds. This discovery led to the development of a collection of income supports which is contained in this catalogue.

To view the online version of the catalogue, click here.

To order printed copies of the catalogue, send an email to or call 905-905-546-2424 ext. 3010

Hamilton’s Charter of Rights of Children and Youth

The Hamilton Best Start Network partnered with Culture for the Kids in the Arts and Art Forms Youth Art Studio to review the 15 year old Hamilton-Wentworth Children’s Charter of Rights.

About the Charter of Rights of Children and Youth

The aim was to help educators engage children and youth in conversations about rights and responsibilities and to document these conversations through pictures and words that would reflect their voices. This Charter was created with the input of over 2000 Children and Youth of Hamilton, in their words, through extensive community engagement.

Once the art was collected, Hamilton Best Start Network members, students and interns, artists, and educators met to sort the artwork into themes. These themes were then used to inform the development of the rights of children, as well as the responsibilities of children and the responsibilities of adults.

The Charter is not only about Making Hamilton the Best Place to Raise a Child, but also about Making Hamilton the Best Place to BE a Child.

Hamilton’s Charter of Rights of Children and Youth (PDF)

Charter Booklet – English (PDF)

Charter Booklet – French (PDF)

Charter Poster – English (PDF)

Charter Poster – French (PDF)

The Exhibit

Hamilton’s Charter of Rights of Children and Youth exhibit is on display through November on the second floor of City Hall.

Children's Charter Exhibit Collage

The Charter Exhibit contains the following items:

  • Charter of Rights of Children and Youth panels including rights and responsibilites
  • Children’s Charter Book – A book containing the expression of children’s rights of children ages 0 – 5 through words and drawings
  • The Voices of Children Carried by a Thousand Paper Cranes’ –1,000 paper cranes each inscribed with rights from children ages 6 to 12, hanging from a sculpture created by artist Dave Hind, created in partnership with Culture for Kids in the Arts
  • Child and Youth Charter Mosaic – Each piece of artwork was created by youth ages 13 – 17 and designed into a collage by a local artist, Chris Andrade in partnership with Art Forms Youth Art Studio.

The Charter Exhibit will tour the community at various locations through 2016.


Cheryl Velenosi

Early Years Project Manager, City of Hamilton

905-546-2424 ext. 7147

Free Education Money

Canada Learning Bond

Your child’s higher education is important to you, but you may not know how you’ll be able to afford it.
Start your child’s education savings with free money from the Government of Canada. Apply for the
Canada Learning Bond. If your child was born on January 1, 2004 or after, and you qualify for the National Child Benefit Supplement, you could get your child up to $2,000.

The Canada Learning Bond is a contribution that’s paid right into an eligible child’s Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), even if you don’t contribute any money yourself.

How Do I Get the Canada Learning Bond for My Child?

To get the Canada Learning Bond you have to open an RESP account with a licensed RESP provider so that the Government can deposit the money. You and your child both need to have a Social Insurance Number to register an education savings plan.

Here’s how to get started:

What’s the Catch?

The Canada Learning Bond can only be used for post-secondary education. If your child does not continue education after high school, the Government will take the Canada Learning Bond back.
Even if your child doesn’t qualify for the Canada Learning Bond, you can still get money from the Government for your child’s education. Find out about the Canada Education Savings Grant.

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