How the province funds parent involvement
The province spends approximately $6 million per year to support parents’ involvement in Ontario’s education system.
Funding to support parent involvement falls under two overall categories:
Parents Reaching Out Grants
These grants are provided to school councils, Parent Involvement Committees and not-for-profit organizations working with parents. They are to support programs or initiatives that help parents participate in their children’s education – either at home or at school. This year, the province will provide approximately $3.1 million for these grants.
School Council Projects
School councils can apply for Parent Reaching Out Grants of up to $1,000 each to support things such as:
- communication (e.g. translating documents or providing parents with information related to curriculum or other school-based initiatives)
- geographic challenges (e.g. programs that reach out to parents living in remote areas)
- parents new to the system (e.g. information or events targeting parents with children just starting school or parents who have recently moved to the area or the country)
- overcoming barriers (e.g. programs or events that provide local solutions to support parents who may experience things like socio-economic, childcare, transportation or language barriers to their involvement)
The province will give “special consideration” to applications that focus on:
- providing math strategies and resources for parents to support their children’s learning
- engaging parents from Indigenous or racialized communities
- encouraging parent engagement in promoting the value of arts, in support of student success.
For more information on these grants, click here.
Parent organizations, school boards, non-profits, and post-secondary institutions working with parents can apply for grants of up to $30,000. The grants must support:
- parents as partners (e.g. programs that support parents to be engaged in their children’s learning, research projects, or school-community connections)
- creating welcoming boards and schools (e.g. programs to support outreach to “hard to reach” parents, workshops for school councils, translation of materials)
- skill-building (e.g. leadership development for parents, programs that provide families with information and resources to support their child’s learning and well-being)
- enhancing communication between schools and parents (e.g. programs that support outreach, information sharing, networks or cross-learning)
For more information about these grants, click here.
Annual school board funding for parent engagement
The province also provides $3 million to school boards to support “the implementation of a wide range of policies, programs, strategies, and initiatives that involve parents.”
Each board receives funding for their Parent Involvement Committee ($5,000 + $0.17 per student) and for every school council ($500 per school council, with an additional $500 for combined elementary/secondary schools with at least 350 students).
To read more about school board funding for parent engagement, see page 94 of the 2016/17 Education funding technical paper.