Summer is a good time for kids to get caught up on some physical wellness checks they might need, such as dental and eyecare check-ups. There’s more time in the summer to get to the appointment, and time to adjust to any prescriptions or tests that need to be completed.
We’re gathering some information about free and low cost health and wellness services for kids that families may find useful: check back often for updates!
** Currently we have only Ontario resources listed – we are investigating similar programs in BC and will list them when we find them.
FREE DENTAL CARE FOR KIDS:
Dental financial assistance is available through the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.
Healthy Smiles Ontario is a government-funded dental program that provides free preventive, routine and emergency dental services for eligible children and youth 17 years of age and younger.
Children and youth 17 and under may be eligible if they are a:
- Resident of Ontario
- Member of a household that meets the income eligibility requirements
Note: If your child is in pain he/she may qualify regardless of income.
Services covered include:
- Regular visits to a dental professional of your choice
- Dental services include check-ups, cleaning, sealants, fluoride treatments, x-rays, fillings and extractions
- Urgent or emergency oral health issues
FREE VISION CARE FOR KIDS:
The Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) covers the cost of an eye exam every 12 months for anyone under the age of 20 with a valid OHIP card.
Eye See…Eye Learn® Program
About The Program
Now available to children in Junior or Senior Kindergarten!
Starting July 1st, 2021, the Eye See…Eye Learn® program is available to children born in 2016 and 2017 that are in any junior or senior kindergarten program. To participate in the program the eye exam must be with a participating optometrist.
If required, Eye See…Eye Learn® will provide one pair of glasses per child courtesy of our participating optometrists and corporate partners Essilor Vision Foundation Canada and Modern Optical Canada. The frames are fashionable and are made with high quality and impact resistant polycarbonate lenses. The estimated value of the glasses is over $250.
The following programs may assist you with the cost of prescription glasses:
- Eye See…Eye Learn® – Children in junior kindergarten are eligible for a free pair of prescription glasses through this program.
- Ontario Works – Families receiving support from Ontario Works can contact their local Ontario Works office for more information on getting support for vision care costs.
- Ontario Disability Support Program Vision Care Benefit – Families receiving support from Ontario Disability Support Program, and don’t have vision care coverage under OHIP, may be able to get help with vision care costs.
- Non-Insured Health Benefits Program – This program provides eligible clients (First Nations and Inuit) coverage for vision care benefits not available under other federal, provincial, territorial or private health insurance.
- Interim Federal Health Program – This program provides limited, temporary coverage of health care benefits, including vision, to resettled refugees, refugee claimants and certain other groups who aren’t eligible for provincial or territorial health insurance.
HEARING TESTS FOR KIDS:
OHIP insures diagnostic hearing tests ordered and performed by qualified physicians.
LANGUAGE AND SPEECH ASSISTANCE FOR KIDS:
Preschool Speech and Language Program staff can teach you how to help your child develop their communications skills, giving them the best opportunity for healthy development.
Early therapy can:
- help your child to listen, talk learn and read
- improve your child’s readiness for school
- improve your child’s self-esteem and confidence
- help your child to play with other children
The program provides services for children from birth until they start school.
You do not need a referral from your doctor.
NUTRITION PROGRAMS FOR KIDS:
Eat Well – Canada Food Guide:
This resource helps families and caregivers support kids in growing a healthy body and brain. Learn More Here
Student Nutrition Program
The Student Nutrition Program offers school-age children and youth nutritious food through breakfast, lunch, and snack programs.
Due to COVID-19, we are making changes to help ensure the program continues to be available to meet family needs during school closures and throughout the summer.
The program is adapting to include new approaches, such as:
- providing grocery gift cards or farm vouchers
- offering food boxes, meal kits or frozen meals
- partnering with food banks