ARC - After-School Recreation Care - City of Toronto

Organization Sponsor: Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation (formerly Toronto Parks and Recreation)

Organization Partner: Toronto Community Services Department


Program Description

Note: If you are interested in finding a program or have questions about registration please call the City of Toronto at 416-338-4386

The After-School Recreation Care (ARC) program provides safe, affordable child care for children ages 6 to 12. Under the supervision of trained, caring recreation staff, ARC offers children creative activities, outdoor play, health & wellness, sports & physical activities, social interaction & making friends, and homework help. ARC programs welcome families to join their children for planned special activities Through inter-divisional collaboration Children’s Services and Parks Forestry and Recreation are providing families with safe, quality, innovative after-school recreation programs. Programs are available for children ages 6-12 years from Monday to Friday. One experienced leader is responsible for every group of 10 children. Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation and Toronto Children’s Services developed the After-school Recreational Care (ARC) program model. Seneca College provides specialized training modules for staff working in the programs. The ARC program curriculum is based on the following principles: * healthy child development; * fine arts; * character education; * physical activity; and * resiliency (how to recover or bounce back when something happens that you didn’t expect). The program begins in September, follows the school calendar and ends in June. Exact start date in September will vary by location. Programs may provide care on PA days and school holidays if possible (this will vary by location). Programs begin after school and run until 6 pm.

Program Approximate Cost: 

$3.50 /day or free

Funding Sources: 

The city of Toronto provides budgets for all programs, supplies and equipment.

Strategies For Sustainability: 

The 2011 Recommended Budget and 2012 Outlook provides 100% funding for the existing ARC program through a combination of Provincial Grants and parent registration fees.

Impact Of Program: 

The ARC program now runs at 29 sites serving over 850 children. ARC is entering its 5th year of operation. The ARC program is limited to Priority Neighbourhoods

Key Elements Towards Success: 

The City of Toronto recognized the need for afterschool care, especially in areas of the city that didn’t have a lot of services. In 2005, City Council approved funding a program for after-school care. Council directed its Parks, Forestry and Recreation department to design and put into action recreational after-school programs for children ages six to 12 as an alternative to babysitting or childcare, while being affordable for their parents.

Challenges To Meet Them: 

The model framework as approved by City Council on November 24, 2005 is unattainable due to an inability of lower income families to pay the full fee. The cost of this program must be subsidized.

Length and Stage of Project: 

The ARC program started as a pilot program in 2006 with 21 sites in Priority Neighborhoods serving over 400 children.

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