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Government of Ontario invests $56-million into new centre for special needs children

An aerial shot of the upcoming ErinoakKids Centre in Brampton, one of the three children's special needs facilities the Government of Ontario funded construction of recently.

On May 8, the provincial government announced a new $56-million investment into ErinoakKids.

The centre for children with special needs will use the capital towards the construction of its new facility in Mississauga.    

When completed, the 103,000 square foot facility will be the largest centre for the treatment of special needs children in Ontario. It will also replace the existing network of 11 facilities ErinoakKids depends on to deliver its services.   

According to Anne Machowski, a spokesperson for the provincial government, the new centre will help serve some 15,000 children in around the Mississauga and the Greater Toronto Area. "This investment increases the capacity to provide integrated services. Children and youth will have access to a range of services in a single location, resulting in better co-ordinated supports and services. This will make it easier for families across the region to access treatment," she said in an email interview. "The centres will provide services for children and youth with physical, developmental and communication disorders, as well as those with autism, hearing and vision impairment."

Among the amenities those children will be able to take advantage of are a fully accessible playground, two gyms, and a serenity garden. There will also be a drop-in centre for older youth.  

To date, Machowski says the provincial government has invested $163-million in to Erinoak. The centre is using the capital to build two other facilities that will be located in Oakville and Brampton. 

However, Machowski goes on to add that there are several other things that the provincial government is trying to do when it comes to helping children with special needs. One of the things the government has acknowledged it needs to do better is make the transition between different special needs services more seamless. Erinoak marks a step in the right direction.
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