We believe in Hamilton’s Renewed Charter of Rights of Children and Youth


July 8, 2016 · Todays Family ·

We believe in Hamilton’s Renewed Charter of Rights of Children and Youth

At Today’s Family Early Learning and Child Care, we believe that all children have fundamental rights. We uphold and enforce these rights, and they are the foundation of everything we do as an organization. We believe that every single child…


…has the right to be heard

  • To have a say in decisions that affect them
  • To express an opinion and have it be heard by the people around them

Children are responsible for listening to others and respecting their opinions. Adults are responsible for asking children for their opinions on all matters that affect them, and seriously considering their views.


…has the right to live in a home, in a neighbourhood

  • For their neighbourhood to accept and respect children’s rights
  • To live in a house that is mould free and bug free and asbestos free

Children are responsible for helping to take care of the place where they live. Adults are responsible for making sure our community is providing good quality affordable housing, in neighbourhoods that have access to green space and that support our citizens.


…has the right to live with and be cared for by family

  • To make something with Mom
  • To have an adult hug them and take care of them
  • To have someone who cares about them and is patient with them
  • Be reminded of how important they are

Children are responsible for respecting and caring for their family. Adults are responsible for respecting and caring for children and families in their diverse forms, and responding to children’s right to feel loved in their family.


…has the right to have friends

  • To have a best friend
  • To argue with their friends and then make up again
  • To have fun and laugh

Children are responsible for caring for, respecting, and including others. Adults are responsible for making it possible for friends to feel welcome and included, and to respect children’s ability to settle their own disagreements.


…has the right to good food, and warm, clean clothes

  • To have breakfast before they go anywhere
  • To make cupcakes
  • To more, and better school and club snacks

Children are responsible for learning about and eating healthy food, and helping to care for their clothing. Adults are responsible for ensuring that children are aware of healthy and ethical food choices, of where and how food and clothing are produced, and that healthy food and suitable clothing are available to all children and their families.


…has the right to a healthy earth to live on

  • To have free fresh clean water
  • To have clean air
  • To play with leaves
  • To dig in the dirt
  • To be in nature

Children are responsible for caring for their environment and reducing waste. Adults are responsible for supporting and nurturing children’s relationship with the natural environment and working to provide a healthy environment through fixing what is wrong, protecting what is right, and making good decisions for the future of our environment, to build capacity to think in terms of “forever”.


…has the right the right to play

  • To have toys
  • Race cars
  • To play on a swing at the park
  • To play on the big slide
  • To ride my bike
  • Get messy
  • Be able to go to the playground with their parents
  • To test out my own body
  • To climb on branches
  • Jump
  • To play in bigger parks
  • Play sports
  • Go to camps
  • To play games on my computer
  • Exercise
  • To have extra-curricular activities: drama, dance, clubs, and sports

Children are responsible for including all children in active exploration, enjoyment of movement, and imaginative play at appropriate times. Adults are responsible for providing both structured and unstructured time and environments for children to play with friends and trust children to take some risks.


…has the right to learn more things

  • To learn in fun ways
  • Have more books
  • To go to school and have a safe learning environment
  • To graduate from university
  • Have opportunities, to reach goals
  • To do my best work
  • Notice what is important to me

Children are responsible for being curious and thoughtful about what is around them, making the most of learning opportunities and respecting the abilities of others. Adults are responsible for nurturing children’s curiosity, supporting their learning by respecting their interests and ways of learning in all contexts, thoughtfully reflecting on their own interventions in children’s explorations, actively removing/reducing barriers to full participation in learning, providing stimulating materials and experiences for learning, and building communities that recognize children’s competence and intelligence.


…has the right to express themselves, their personality and thoughts without judgement

  • To tell other people what they am thinking and feeling
  • Dance
  • To express myself through creative experiences
  • To have art supplies
  • To make art, and have art teachers
  • To think
  • To have my concerns treated with respect
  • Be imaginative
  • To be free to show who I am or what I think
  • To feel loved or mad…feel confused
  • Not to understand life or meaning to everything

Children are responsible for communicating respectfully, and appreciating the ways others express themselves. Adults are responsible for providing children with opportunities to express themselves fully, to engage in creative activities, and to stay silent if they choose.


…has the right to be proud of who they are

  • To be proud of their work and accomplishments

Children are responsible for working to the best of their ability. Adults are responsible for recognizing children’s efforts without comparing them to others, and cultivate spaces where children are able to demonstrate their particular competence.


…has the right to make choices

  • To choose my friends
  • To choose my girlfriend or boyfriend
  • To have my favourite colour
  • To be silly if I feel like it
  • To have the chance to learn by making mistakes
  • To have a part-time job

Children are responsible for considering their decisions carefully. Adults are responsible for seeking out and seriously considering children’s views on all matters that concern them, to help them to make informed decisions, and to recognize the importance of relationships and making a meaningful contribution to their own financial security and independence.


…has the right to special help like a wheelchair if they ever need it

  • To be helped and have hope
  • To help people
  • To have supports available so I can develop

Children are responsible for including and helping children who need support. Adults are responsible for working with children to define what meaningful participation is for them, and to accommodate and reduce barriers to full participation for all children.


…has the right to know about and practice my culture

  • To learn about their culture
  • To speak and sing in their own language
  • To know their family
  • To have a birthday party with balloons

Children are responsible for respecting other people’s language and celebrations. Adults are responsible for modelling respect for people of all backgrounds, supporting learning about diverse cultures and learning how to listen in many ways.


…has the right to care for living things

  • To have a pet
  • To have a birdhouse and food for the birds
  • To care for plants

Children are responsible for caring for animals and contributing to community gardens. Adults are responsible for supporting children’s empathy and care for all living beings and making meaningful contributions to gardens using sustainable methods.


…has the right to be safe, secure, and healthy

  • For all parents getting their child’s baby bonus every month
  • Less people getting in fights
  • Hold Mom’s hand
  • Feel safe walking down the street
  • Go to the dentist
  • Have more food banks
  • Be protected from toxins
  • Have medicine and doctors
  • Live in a smoke-free neighbourhood, in a world with no more cigarettes
  • Have a safe environment to go home to, where there is no violence, no drug abuse, no ignorance, no neglect
  • Hide from the lies and the life they hate to live
  • Help people in poverty

Children are responsible for caring for themselves and others by taking steps to reduce hazards and by avoiding dangerous situations. Adults are responsible for supporting children’s assessment of risk, refusing to inflict pain or emotional harm on children, protecting and strengthening our social safety net, and building communities that are safe for all citizens.


…has the right to be free from discrimination

  • Equal opportunities regardless of how much money their parents make
  • Not be picked on because of my height and size and to be able to do more activities
  • Not be judged on how they look
  • Have equal treatment and be included regardless of race, religion, gender

Children are responsible for respecting and being empathetic to others. Adults are responsible for building inclusive communities that welcome and support all people.


…has the right to rest

  • Have a comfy bed to sleep in
  • Have a stuffed toy, blankets

Children are responsible for learning about and taking care of their bodies. Adults are responsible for ensuring a child’s time is not over-scheduled, and that they have a place to rest.


…has the right to privacy

  • To be in their home and be private in their room
  • To have a place where they can be by themselves, or maybe with a friend

Children are responsible for respecting the privacy of others. Adults are responsible for respecting children’s belongings, spaces, and need for time alone.


These rights and responsibilities shall apply to all children and youth under the age of 18, without discrimination according to race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, ability/disability, ethnic origin, religion, neighbourhood, economic status. This Charter of Rights for Children and Youth does not replace the law.

Until next time,

– Today’s Family



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Contact Us

The central office for Today’s Family
is located at:
44 Greendale Drive
Hamilton, Ontario
L9C 5Z4

Hamilton: 905 574 9344
Halton: 289 288 0059
Haldimand and Norfolk: 1 844 574 9344
Fax: 905-574-2684
E-mail: [email protected]

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