OKN’s Indigenous Reconciliation initiative considers Truth and Reconciliation as two distinct entities, as illustrated above. Learn more about this graphic in our Indigenous Reconciliation Strategy.

Children spend a great deal of their first 8 years learning in schools, thus, how schools connect to their community is important. Progress in this area will show good connections between schools, parents, community resources and the local neighbourhood.

  • Parental involvement in schools
  • Youth as resources
  • Volunteerism
  • Community use of schools
Children thrive in neighbourhoods that are safe and connected. Neighbourhoods that can meet all of our needs are valued.

  • Neighbourhood safety
  • Neighbourhood cohesion
  • Walkability
  • Caring for the community
Safe environments benefit children by providing a sense of personal security that allows them to take maximum advantage of learning, playing and making new friendships.

  • Child care capacity
  • Quality child care
  • Parenting capacity
  • Parental monitoring
  • Quality time at home with family
Safe environments benefit children by providing a sense of personal security that allows them to take maximum advantage of learning, playing and making new friendships.

  • Serious injury
  • At-risk behaviours
  • Safety from harm
All children need positive connections to their parents/caregivers, peers, school and community.

  • Supportive and caring environments
  • Boundaries and expectations
  • Commitment to learning
  • Positive values
  • Social competencies

Learning is one of the cornerstones for success in life and starts at birth. Community progress for this result will show that children are learning both in their preschool and school years.

  • Preschool learning opportunities
  • Student achievement (EQAO)
  • Healthy body weight
  • School engagement

Good health is a prerequisite for positive outcomes for children and youth. Both physical and emotional health are valued in this result. In addition, given the critical brain development that takes place in the first 12 months of life, infant health is closely monitored.

  • At-risk births
  • Healthy eating
  • Healthy body weight
  • Physical activity
  • Mental health

Nurturing Futures: Insights and Lessons Learned from Parenting Program Initiatives in Ontario


Join us for an exciting online session with Andrea Gonzalez, PhD, highlighting recent research from the Strong Families Team at McMaster University!

Dr. Gonzalez will provide an overview of some of the research that the Strong Families team at McMaster University has been working on over the past few years. In particular, she will present their last set of findings from the Ontario Parent Survey – a province-wide survey for caregivers of children during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Gonzalez will also provide some highlights from their evaluation and implementation work of various parenting programs.

Specifically, she will discuss their approach to health equity and how they have attempted to address barriers for equity-deserving populations; their study examining the feasibility and acceptability of universal parenting resources, and lessons learned while implementing various parenting programs across sectors within Ontario and Quebec.

All are welcome to attend!


Andrea Gonzalez, PhD

Dr. Andrea Gonzalez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. She holds a Tier II Canada Research Chair in Family Health and Preventive Interventions. Her research program focuses on the developmental consequences of early life adversity; the impact of traumatic experience on brain development, behavioural outcomes, and health; the intergenerational transmission of risk; and developing and evaluating evidence-based preventive interventions.

Most recently, her work has focused on equity-deserving populations and addressing barriers to accessing care. She is a member of the Board of Children, Youth and Families for the National Academies of Sciences in the U.S. and aims to translate research into informative and useful policies and practices across sectors with the aim of helping improve family and child well-being across the life course.


Headshot Andrea-Gonzale
OKN organization graphic