Mayoral candidate Anthony Perruzza announced his plan to make after-school recreation programs free for children and youth in the city from 3pm to 6pm.
“Many families don’t have after-school plans or cannot rely on anyone for support with children after school,” said Perruzza. “The City can provide quality, affordable programs after school.”
“A child in Rexdale, Jane and Finch or Malvern has the same opportunities as ones in Rosedale,” he added. “Families are looking for affordable alternatives to staying at home with their cell phone.”
“Young people need to have safe and enriching activities after school,” said Perruzza. “No child should be left out because of city fees. Making after-school recreation programs free provides our children with opportunities to learn new skills, build friendships, and stay active.”
According to UNICEF, rich countries like Canada are failing children, who are grappling with mental health concerns, obesity and poor social and academic skills.
Perruzza will make all city programs for children and youth free from 3pm to 6pm in city recreation centres and in schools. Perruzza’s Three to Six plan ensures that children in Toronto have the opportunity to participate in recreational activities, regardless of their family’s income.
“Children and youth across the city will have open access to recreational programs, without putting a financial burden on families,” said Perruzza. “Life in Toronto is very expensive right now and supporting families is a top priority. This is just the beginning of what we can accomplish when we invest in Torontonians.”
The cost of making existing after-school city programs free from Three to Six will cost less than $7 million. Perruzza also allocated $15 million to begin expanding this program to Toronto schools.