Our perinatal and early years program is made up of three main program areas:

  • Great Start Together (GST) Perinatal Program,
  • Parents of Action Now (PfAN), and
  • Healthy Child Screening.

1. Great Start Together (GST) Perinatal Program

Funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada, GST is a weekly drop-in perinatal program where pregnant women and mothers have a space to learn, share experiences and network with each other. The catchment for this program is from Dufferin Street to Yonge Street, and Bloor Street to Lakeshore Boulevard.

The program is delivered by a wide range of community partners where a lot of expertise is being pooled together to offer one stop shopping for pregnant women and mothers in relation to pre and post-natal health, new born care and settlement services. Services include: nurses, dietician, health promoters, lactation consultant, social worker and settlement workers in the provision of health education, workshops, one-on-one support, information & referrals, counselling, breastfeeding support group and assistance in accessing social/health services. Examples of pre-natal topics are pre-natal care, fetal growth & development, labour & delivery; post-natal topics are new born care, immunization, breastfeeding; and infection control.

  • This drop-in is held every Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Participants must register before birth and can attend till 6 months after giving birth.
  • Drop-in also offers a workshop from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. with Mandarin interpretation. The topics are run in a cycle to ensure participants the opportunities to attend.

Participants who need one-on-one support don’t need to make appointments, except for medical and counselling services. The gathering is informal where participants can freely identify and talk about their concerns with staff and among themselves.

The program offers nutritious soup and snack as well as child minding service.

For more information, please call (416) 703-8482 ext. 2235.

2. Parents for Action Now (PfAN)

Parents for Action Now (PfAN) is a parent advocacy group that is comprised of newcomer parents in the West End of Toronto. PfAN was formed in 2004 and through the years this group has worked on a variety of issues including: childcare, immigration, education and employment.

The objective of PfAN is to allow parents from these diverse communities the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills and to learn how to advocate for their needs in the community. For example members of PfAN have met their local MPP to advocate for more affordable childcare and have produced posters about healthy parenting that were distributed across the West End of Toronto.

The group is run two-three times per year for eight weeks. Group members are involved in choosing the topic, planning the sessions and taking action based on their learning. Sometimes there is an optional field trip related to the topic. The workshops often have guest speakers and are filled with group discussion. We have a light snack and offer parents childcare, tokens and food vouchers as part of their participation in the group. In 2015 the group will be working with local schools to advocate for and promote the Active and Safe Routes to School project that aims to increase children’s activity level and community walkability.

PfAN caters to the parents of the following three ridings within the city of Toronto: Davenport, Trinity-Spadina and Parkdale-High Park. The group is facilitated through the partnerships of West Neighbourhood House, Davenport Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre, St. Stephen’s Community House, The Stop Community Food Centre and Queen West – Central Toronto Community Health Centre. The program rotates through these locations.

Sometimes highlights from our program are listed on our blog.

For more information about Parents for Action Now please call (416) 703-8482 ext 2233.

3. Healthy Child Screening

The Healthy Child Screening is run in partnership with Toronto Western Hospital and with support from a variety of agencies in the community. The Healthy Child Screening is for children ages 2-6 years of age, and is an opportunity for caregivers to meet a number of professionals and ask any questions you have and to learn about any services or supports you and your family may need. Interpretation is offered wherever possible. The professionals include: Nurses, Social Workers, Speech & Language Specialists, Nutritionists, Dentist, Settlement Workers and a community information table.

The screenings happen in the spring and/or fall at various locations in our catchment area. To participate you must have pre-registered appointments.

If you would like to learn more about our Healthy Child Screening or find out where and when the next screening is held, please call (416) 703-8482 ext. 2233.