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Our History

The GRC developed out of the joint concerns and activities of a group of faculty in early childhood education programs at Ryerson University, George Brown College, Seneca College, and OISE. This group provided voluntary consultation services to the early childhood community from 1980-1982.  In March 1982, funding through the Ministry of Community and Social Services (MCSS) Day Care Initiatives enabled the group to expand the provision of service to parents and informal caregivers. At this point, the GRC became a programme of Ryerson's School of Early Childhood Education.

Today, the GRC offers a variety of programmes that have developed out of the needs of the community and are designed to be educational and social supports for children, families, caregivers, early childhood professionals, and family supports practitioners.

1982: The GRC officially opened, offering a drop-in for parents and caregivers and daycare information and referral in the Christian Community Centre at Gerrard and Parliament Streets.

1983: GRC began to offer emergency care to families in crisis.

1983: The GRC provided child care in the Family Court at 311 Jarvis Street.

1984: Both the emergency care and the child care at the Family Court were terminated due to lack of funding.

1985: Funds were received from MCSS to rent a storefront location at Gerrard and Ontario Streets.

1986: GRC staff became members of OPSEU local 596 under the new collective agreement.

1987: Funding was received from the City of Toronto to offer emergency care on a part-time basis.

1987: Funding was received from MCSS to offer consultation for children with special needs.

1988: Neighbourhood Information Post (NIP) and GRC received joint funding to operate a Daycare Information and Referral Service for parents.

1988: MCSS funding was provided to offer emergency care on a full-time basis.

1989: Emergency care was reduced to 3 days per week due to limited funding.

1991: Staff joined the steering committee of Parents for Better Beginnings.

1993: GRC took over management of Daycare Information and Referral after NIP's temporary closure.

1993: Resource Library moved to 55 Gould Street, then to Ryerson University's ECE Offices in Kerr Hall South.

1993: GRC connected Ontario Association of Family Resource Programs (OAFRP) with Ryerson ECE and Continuing Education to look at the development of courses to support professionals working in family resource programs in Ontario.

1996: GRC was relocated to Central Neighbourhood House (CNH) at 349 Ontario Street to reduce costs and to develop community collaboration.

1996: Family Supports Certificate program began and GRC joined the Advisory Committee.

1996: Received major funding from the Counselling Foundation of Canada to begin joint community development project with OAFRP and the School of Early Childhood Education called the Healthy Childhood Development Project.This funding also supported the development of several distance education courses in the Family Supports Certificate program.

1997: Funds were received from the Counselling Foundation of Canada to begin Phase II of the Healthy Childhood Development Project. This funding enabled the GRC to offer a family resource program in the three different sites in the Jarvis/ Dundas community.

1998: GRC entered a partnership with six family resource programs across Canada to explore the role of community economic development in family support programs. This partnership was also funded by the Counselling Foundation.

1998: GRC began working with CNH to offer a programme entitled Mothers Matter to support parents who had lost their children temporarily or permanently to the child welfare system.

1999: GRC became a member of the Parenting Alliance sponsored by the Hospital for Sick Children.

1999: GRC worked in partnership with 8 organizations in Downtown East Toronto to establish a Community Development Corporation in this area, with support from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC).

1999: GRC, along with 4 other partners, submitted a proposal to RBC Financial to run our after-school program. The proposal was unsuccessful.

2000: GRC received funding from the Morrow Foundation to offer emergency care from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

2000: GRC staff began an articulated process of Reflective Practice.

2000: GRC received funding from the National Crime Prevention Initiative to develop parenting workshops, a homework club, and other programs for the Jarvis/Dundas community.

2000: GRC and CNH received funding from the CAS Foundation to continue the Mothers Matter Programme.

2001: Ryerson, OAFRP, FRP Canada, and the Ontario Coalition of CAPC programs received funding from the Early Years Challenge Fund provincial allocation to provide training for family resource programs that included training in Reflective Practice modelled after the GRC experience and the modularization of the Theory and Practice course from the Family Supports Certificate program.

2001: GRC received funding from the National Crime Prevention Initiative to develop a conflict resolution training package.

2001: Received a request from St. Lawrence community to join the Circles of Support initiative.

2001: Family Service Association of Toronto and GRC received funding to undertake a community scan in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.

2001: Due to a deficit and a lack of new funding, GRC eliminated 1.2 full-time equivalent positions.

2001: GRC began providing a placement/internship site for interdisciplinary students, including those studying ECE, nursing and social work.

2001: The Family Supports Certificate program became a minor in the ECE curriculum.

2002:  GRC, along with 8 partners, submitted a proposal to the Early Years Challenge Fund. This proposal was unsuccessful.

2002: GRC participated in the Ontario Early Years process along with many organizations in the Toronto Centre-Rosedale (TCR) riding.  East York East Toronto Family Resources was established as the lead organization.

2003: GRC became a unique satellite in the TCR riding and received $19,000 to deliver services one evening and one weekend day per week. GRC also received $6,900 to provide supervision and space to a special needs support worker.

2003: GRC, along with 9 partners, submitted a second proposal to RBC Financial. The proposal was successful.

2003: Jarvis Dundas Afterschool Program (JDAP) began in September 2003. A Parent Advisory Committee was struck to oversee and provide feedback to the program staff.

2003: Director of ECE informed staff that Ryerson could no longer support GRC due to project deficit and that the GRC must also come in line with the mission and vision of Ryerson University.

2004: Received funding from Ontario Early Years Centres (OEYC) to provide an evening program.

2004: JDAP received second year of funding from RBC Financial Group.

2004: GRC submitted proposal to HRDSC in partnership with OAFRP and FRP Canada entitled "Children and Families in Disadvantaged Circumstances: Communication, Collaboration and Inclusion." This proposal was unsuccessful.

2004: Family Supports Certificate celebrated its 10th year.

2005: Communities of Spirit and Cabbagetown Youth Centre pulled out of partnership to begin their own after-school program.

2005: GRC secured the support of Wellesley Urban Health Centre and developed a new vision for the GRC within the University. This was the initial development of the Ryerson Centre for Children, Youth and Families (RCCYF).

2005: JDAP received funding from F.K. Morrow Foundation and third-year funding from RBC Financial Group.

2005: R. Berman and D. McKay submitted proposal to SIRS for $10,000 seed money for the development of the RCCF. The Dean also provided $10,000 in seed money to support development of the RCCYF.

2005: GRC received money from Ouellette Family Foundation and Sears Canada for JDAP.

2005: Provincial government released 10-year Best Start plan and invited community consultation.

2005: Downtown East Community Development Collective participated in a forum with Ryerson faculty to look at ways Ryerson could support its local community.

2005: School of ECE submitted proposal entitled "Children and Families in Disadvantaged Circumstances: Communication, Collaboration and Inclusion" to HRSDC. This was a partnership project with OAFRP and FRP Canada.  GRC staff  provided project management and became a research site, along with St. Mary's Family Learning Centre in Windsor, Ontario and Community Living Tillsonburg in Tillsonburg, Ontario.

2006: The proposal "Children and Families in Disadvantaged Circumstances: Communication, Collaboration and Inclusion" to HRSDC was successful. 

2006: City of Toronto expanded funding to children with disabilities and implemented a new model of service delivery. GRC received funding to hire two full-time resource consultants. 

2006: The JDAP held a successful volunteer and donor appreciation dinner at 51 Division.

2006: JDAP received its 4th year of funding from RBC Financial Group as well as funding for a Skills Enhancement Program from CIBC and the Ouellette Family Foundation.

2006: GRC worked in collaboration with St. Lawrence Circles of Support to develop a parenting education series for families living within the St. Lawrence community, to be delivered in 2007.

2006: GRC staff worked in collaboration with Public Health, Child Development Institute, and Ontario Early Years Centres to deliver the Incredible Years Parenting program.

2007: GRC continued to work in collaboration with the Ontario Early Years Centres to offer an evening program at the YMCA Family Development Centre. The program offered an Incredible Years program for families in collaboration with Public Health.

2007: GRC assumed coordination of the Family Supports Certificate.

2007: GRC moved to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School at 444 Sherbourne Street after 14 years at Central Neighbourhood House. GRC and CNH had a successful partnership; however, after several labour disputes amongst the union and management at CNH and an impending labour disruption, GRC decided to move.

2008: The GRC's after-school program was licensed by the province and renamed the Ryerson Early Learning Centre (ELC) Satellite After-school Program. The program served 30 children between 6 and 12 years of age.

2008: The Ryerson ELC received funding from Telus Mobility. However, RBC Financial Group withdrew its support after 6 years.

2009: GRC celebrated 25 years of service in the community at our new location.

2009: Dr. C. Pascal’s report entitled With our Best Future in Mind: Implementing Early Learning in Ontario was released.  This report had major implications on early learning for children in Ontario and transformed the sector for those serving children from birth to 12 years of age.

2009: The HRSDC project entitled Listening to Families: Reframing Services concluded. This project resulted in the publication of a book and DVD with same title co-authored by the researchers Dr. Mehrunnisa Ali, Patricia Corson, and Elaine Frankel. 

2010: GRC and School of ECE continued to provide training to CMAS (ChildMinding and Support Services). Staff developed and delivered a training series entitled "Supporting Children with Special Needs".

2010: GRC continued to deliver the After-school Program but was unable to secure the necessary funds to sustain the program at no charge.  In December 2010, parents received notification that there would be a fee commencing January 1, 2011.  Parents wrote a letter to the President expressing their concerns.  In response to this letter, the University provided the funds necessary to sustain the program until June 2011.

2011: GRC participated in a pilot project with the Faculty of Community Services at Ryerson University in the delivery of an Interprofessional Placement.

2011: GRC moved from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School to St. Simon's - the - Apostle church. Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School needed space to implement  full-day kindergarten. The OEYC evening program moved to the Early Learning Centre.

2012: The School of Early Chlidhood Education (ECE) was renamed The School of Early Childhood Studies (ECS). The School of ECS continues to maintain its relationship with the GRC.

2012: Report on Evaluation Framework for the Toronto Network of OEYCs (Phase 1) with K. Berman, K. Underwood, & S. Patel. 

2013: Research and Evaluation Project for Toronto Network of OEYCs (Phase II) with A. Di Santo, K. Underwood, and P. Corson. 

2013: The Ontario Early Years Policy Framework was released in January. Under a new  structure for early learning and child care, all family support programs will become Best Start Child and Family Centres governed by the Ministry of Education.  

2013: The manager of the GRC, in collaboration with The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education and The School of Early Childhood Studies, developed and co-led a module series on Early Childhood Systems Renewal.

2014: The manager of the GRC, in collaboration with The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education and The School of Early Childhood Studies, co-led a module series on Early Childhood Systems Renewal.

2014: GRC began providing administrative support to Family Supports Institute Ontario in April 2014.

2014: The Ontario Ministry of Education released How Does Learning Happen? Ontario's Pedagogy for the Early Years. GRC staff engage in professional learning and discussion to implement the document in GRC programs in Spring 2014.  

2015: Along with the Early Learning Centre Lab School, the Gerrard Resource Centre presented Innovations in Early Childhood Pedagogy: How Do Children Learn? Inquiry Based Learning in Action Building Reflective Capacities. Two interactive and interconnected seminars for the Early Learning and Care and Family Support Programs were offered.

2016: GRC Manager selected to represent Family Support Programs on the Advisory Committee for OEYCFCs for the City of Toronto in October 2016. 

2016: GRC staff participate in the Road Ahead Conversation with City of Toronto. 

2017: Ontario Ministry of Education released Ontario's Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework on June 6, 2017. 

2017: GRC is a partner in the Children's Rights Project funded by SSHRC (A. Di Santo, P.I) and participated in the 2 day symposium World Cafe on Children's Rights on June 15 - 16, 2017.