About the Early Years

The County's Children's Early Years Division is designated by the Province of Ontario as the Service System Manager for licensed child care and EarlyON programmes and services in the County of Wellington and the City of Guelph. We are contracted by the Ministry of Education to plan, fund, and manage this early years system and are one of 47 Service System Managers in the Province.

Early Years Matter

The term “early years” is often used to describe the period in a person’s life between birth and age 5. Early years services include child care and family support programmes. The early years are frequently an area of focus for educators, researchers, policy makers, service planners, and advocacy groups because of the large amount of learning and development that occurs during this time. 

According to research, over 90% of a person’s brain development occurs by the age of 5 (McCain, 2020).

 A graph titles, Human Brain and Development which shows age in years on the bottom axis. The graph has 3 lines indicating the development of neural connections. A yellow line shows that sensory pathways (i.e., vision, hearing) develop rapidly in-utero and from birth to 12 months. A blue line shows that language develops rapidly in-utero and from birth to 12 months. A red line shows that higher cognitive functioning develops more gradually over the first 5 years and then slows down through middle childhood
Source: (Center on the Developing Child, 2007)