Our History

In February 2016, Ministry of Education (MEDU) announced the creation of Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centres (OEYCFCs), to bring together four MEDU funded child and family programs to create a common set of services under the same governance and branding. As part of the branding announcement in October 2017, these child and family programs are now known as EarlyON Child and Family Centres (EarlyON Centres). This transformation will enhance existing services, increase access to inclusive play-based learning opportunities, and support parents and caregivers to improve the developmental health and wellbeing of all children.

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A girl on a mission of lining up seeds in a line on the white tape.

Our Mission

We are committed to supporting families with young children and nurture early learning and healthy child development by building strong connections, facilitating access to services and by providing high quality child and family centered opportunities for engaged learning in the context of an inclusive environment.

Our Vision

Children (birth to six) and their families thrive and learn in the context of caring relationships and in a community dedicated to ensuring they reach their full potential.

A boy and adult looking through a yellow magnifying glass and observing nature
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Our Approach

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Our approach - Children, child plays with some dirt inside of a small plastic container. An adult holds the container for the child, outside on grass.


Children are competent, capable of complex thinking, curious, and rich in potential. They grow up in families with diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Every child should feel that they belong, that they are a valuable contributor to their surroundings, and deserve the opportunity to succeed.

When children have access to play and inquiry-based learning opportunities that value and build on their strengths they experience positive developmental health and well-being.


Families love their children and want the best for them. Families are experts on their children. They are the first and most powerful influence on children’s learning, development, health, and well-being. Families bring diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. Families should feel that they belong, are valuable contributors to their children’s learning, and deserve to be engaged in a meaningful way.

All families have strengths, and celebrating these strengths can help families feel safe and engaged by creating a sense of belonging.

Partnership with families is respectful of a family’s structure, culture, values, language, and knowledge. Parents’ efforts for their children’s optimal development are supported by recognizing that fall families have strengths and being intentional in cultivating authentic, caring relationships and connections cultivate authentic, caring relationships and connections that create a sense of belonging.

Our approach - Families. A smiling mixed race family sitting on a couch, blurred background, and small child in the arms of the grandmother. 4 dults (mother, father, grandparents and child)


“The environment should act as an aquarium which reflects the ideas, ethics, attitudes and culture of the people who live in it. This is what we are working towards.”

EarlyON Child and Family Centres provide an environment that engages parents and caregivers as co-learners and leaders in influencing positive experiences and outcomes for children, families and the community.

The environment as “the third teacher” supports the learning, development and well-being of children, parents/caregivers and educators who share the space by honoring their ideas, values, attitudes, and cultures in the context of building meaningful connections.


Educators are competent and capable, curious, and rich in experience. They are knowledgeable, caring, reflective, and resourceful professionals. They bring diverse social, cultural, and linguistic perspectives. They collaborate with others to create engaging environments and experiences to foster children’s learning and development. Educators are lifelong learners. They take responsibility for their own learning and make decisions about ways to integrate knowledge from theory, research, their own experience, and their understanding of the individual children and families they work with. Every educator should feel he or she belongs, is a valuable contributor, and deserves the opportunity to engage in meaningful work.


EarlyON Child and Family Centres offer programs and other programs and services that build responsive adult-child relationships, encourage children’s exploration, and promote play and inquiry, based on the pedagogy in HDLH.

Children’s healthy development, their understanding of the world around them and their growing sense of self is supported through experiences that encourage active, creative, and meaningful exploration, play, and inquiry supported by cultivating authentic, caring relationships and connections

Guided by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s Pedagogy for the Early Years, 2014 (HDLH), HDLH provides four foundations for learning: belonging, well-being, engagement and expression.

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Meet the Team!

  Eliza C.

Eliza C. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Show the children every winged thing. The bees, dragonflies, queen ants, bluebirds, luna moth and swallowtails. Creatures can inspire them to defy gravity.
– Nicolette Sowder

  Sofia M.

Sofia M. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood
– Fred Rogers, aka Mr. Rogers

   Ismat B.

Ismat B. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Our image of the child is rich in potential, strong, powerful, competent, and most of all, connected to adults and other children.
– Loris Malaguzzi

 Amira F.

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today.
– Barbara Johnson

Magdalena D.

Magdalena D. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

A child can always teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.
– Paulo Cohelo – The Fifth Mountain

 Tahira A.

Tahira A. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behaviour. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself.
– Lev Vygotsky

Aleksandra S.

Aleksandra S. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Every child deserves to have someone’s eyes light up when they enter the room.
– Dr. Jean Clinton

Yanqiong M.

Angela M. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

The well-being of children is inseparable from the well-being of all the critical adults in their lives
-Stuart Shanker

Svetlana F.

Svetlana F. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Speak to children as if you were on stage in front of thousands of people. Respond to them with the respect they deserve. They are our future. Let’s create a childhood that our children won’t have to recover from.
– Brooke Hampton

Alexandra D.

Alexandra D. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Our highest endeavour must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility – these three forces are the very nerve of education
– Rudolph Steiner

Giselle O.

Giselle O. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.
– Robert John Meehan

Suzana M.

Suzana M. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.
– Rita Pierson

  Marie Q.

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning. They have to play with what they know to be true in order to find out more, and then they can use what they learn in new forms of play.
– Fred Rogers

  Dina O.

Dina O. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

People will forget what you did but they will never forget how you made them feel
– Maya Angelou

 Donia A.

Donia A. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

A child’s capacity to learn is a direct result of the environment they are in. If we provide an environment that is thoughtful, inclusive, caring, and responsive, children and much more likely to thrive in their learning
– Uplifting Early Childhood

Jaselle E.

Jaselle E. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

We didn’t realize we were making memories, we were just having fun
– Winnie The Pooh

 Joyce P.

Joyce P. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Children want the same things we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted.
– Dr. Seuss

Veronica P.

Veronica P. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Children have a real understanding only of that, which they invent themselves
– Jean Piaget

Joshua S.

Joshua S. Educator at DBNC EarlyON

Curiosity and imagination spark a better tomorrow
– Joshua Shanthiyapillai

Join DBNC EarlyON Parenting Community

Engage in and experience parenting/caregiving alongside gentle, wise, and generous caregivers.

EarlyON centres offer a range of free online and in-person programs, for parents/caregivers who support the early learning and development of children aged 6 years and under. 

EarlyON professionals are ready to support your parenting journey, share safe, welcoming play-based learning spaces and helpful resources with expecting new, and experienced parents and caregivers.

DBNC EarlyON team invites you to: 

  • Access online and in-person programs and services 
  • Build community with other parents/caregivers 
  • Be heard and accepted 
  • Boost your confidence and a parent/caregiver
  • Share strategies and stories 
  • Talk to parents/caregivers with children of similar age 
  • Learn about local resources available to you