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Every Kid Counts (EKC) Program FAQ, connecting children with support for day camps



Answers to our most popular careiver questions about Every Kid Counts (EKC) program and supporting a child's needs in community-based camps...


What is Every Kid Counts?

  • Every Kid Counts (EKC) is an inclusive recreation support program created and operated by Lansdowne Children’s Centre.

EKC provides a Support Worker free of charge for children/youth with developmental disabilities/additional needs that require extra support to be able to attend a day camp or other recreation programs in the community of Brantford-Brant.
  • This support is available for approximately 40 hours or one week. EKC is a first come, first serve program – this means that available support is limited, and those who have registered for a community program and reached out for support first will be prioritized.

  • Due to limitations of support provided (i.e., 40 hours or one week), please note that EKC cannot provide childcare for the entire summer, but for one week of day camp (or 40 hours of a recreation program) throughout the fiscal year (April 1-March 31).





Who is eligible for EKC?

  • Active clients of Lansdowne Children’s Centre between the ages of 4-18, living with a developmental and/or physical disability, and residing in Brantford, Brant County, or Six Nations of the Grand River can access EKC support. 

  • Please note that the child/youth must be four years old by the start of the camp/program, and under the age of eighteen for the duration of the camp/program. Parents/caregivers must register their child/youth for the program, pay for the cost of the program (reimbursement may be available – speak with your respite supervisor), and transport your child/youth to and from the program location(s) (please reach out to the EKC Coordinator if transportation is a barrier).

  • EKC may not be able to support children/youth who require G-tube feeds and/or medication during the program – please reach out to the EKC Coordinator if your child/youth requires this support.


Where can EKC support be used?

  • EKC support can be used at any inclusive recreation program in Brantford/Brant County (“inclusive” referring to programs that accept participants with AND without disabilities/additional needs). EKC support can be used for one week of day camp during school breaks, or for an ongoing weekly/biweekly evening program throughout the school year (i.e., Girl Guides/Scouts, sports teams, clubs, etc.). 

  • Please note that exceptions to the location rule include camps/programs that provide transportation from Brantford/Brant to their location (e.g., YMCA Camp Chippewa is located outside of Brantford/Brant but uses a bus to pick up participants and their Support Workers from Brantford). 

  • For support at a “non-inclusive” camp/program (i.e., a camp/program that only accepts those with disabilities and/or support needs), EKC can provide a Support Worker, but the cost of the Support Worker must be covered by the parents/caregiver (this can be done through funding such as SS@H – please reach out to the EKC Coordinator if you plan on registering your child/youth for a “non-inclusive” camp/program).


How many hours of EKC support are available per participant?

  • EKC participants are offered approximately 40 hours (or one week) of support free of charge per fiscal year (April 1st - March 31st). 


Is there a cost for EKC support?

  • EKC provides a Support Worker free of charge, with approximately 40 hours of support allotted per client, per fiscal year (April 1 - March 31).

  • Any support received at a community program beyond the initial 40 hours of support in a fiscal year requires payment through personal funding such as Special Services at Home, Respite Care, Kids First, etc. Please note that arrangements for paid support are made on a case-by-case basis (including support for “non-inclusive” camps and programs that do not meet the EKC criteria of an inclusive program).


Does EKC cover the cost of the camp/program?

  • No. EKC does not cover the cost of the camp or program, however some camps/programs may be eligible for reimbursement from Special Services at Home; please contact your Respite Supervisor for questions related to fundings and reimbursements.


Does EKC provide transportation to and from the camp/program?

  • No. EKC does not provide transportation to and/or from camps or other community programs. If transportation is a barrier to your child/youth accessing a camp/community program, please reach out to the EKC Coordinator to explore solutions.


Can EKC accommodate children/youth with medical needs?

  • EKC can provide support to children/youth with medical needs on a case-by-case basis; we regularly support children/youth with epilepsy/seizures, allergies, and asthma.

  • Most camps/programs will require their own staff to administer medication (with an exception for emergency medication, which they allow for the Support Worker to administer as needed); in the case that the camp/program staff cannot administer medication, our Support Workers are trained and able to dispense medication.

  • Currently, our Support Workers are unable to administer injections (with the exception of epi-pens) or provide feeds or medications through a G/J tube. Please contact the EKC Coordinator if your child/youth requires this care before registering for a camp/program with EKC support.



Accessing and Utilizing EKC:


How does a child/youth get a referral to EKC?

  • If your child/youth has not been referred to EKC, please contact any Lansdowne service provider that you are connected with and ask for a referral to EKC. If you are unsure who to reach out to, please contact the EKC Coordinator, Jessa, at jcrerar@lansdownecc.com or 519-751-3153 ext. 405, or call Lansdowne Children’s Centre’s Smart Start Hub at 519-751-3153 ext. 507.


How do I set up support from EKC?

  • Please reach out to Jessa Crerar, EKC Coordinator, to set up support for your child/youth (jcrerar@lansdownecc.com or 519-753-3153 ext. 405). After setting up support, the EKC Coordinator will contact you to gather more information on the support needs of your child/youth and confirm the dates/times/location(s) of the camp/program they will be attending.


Community Programs:


Are all camps/community programs considered “inclusive”?

  • No. Not all camps and community programs are considered inclusive. Camps and programs that are only open to those with disabilities/additional needs (e.g., Crossing All Bridges) are not considered “inclusive”. Support can be provided for these programs on a case-by-case basis, however personal funding (Special Services at Home, Respite Care, Kids First, etc.) must be used to cover the cost of the Support Worker, rather than the cost of support being covered by EKC. Similarly, not all community camps and programs are able to accommodate having a Support Worker attend with a participant – please let the camp/program know that your child/youth will be attending with a Support Worker at the time of registration.

  • It is also important to note that not all community camps and programs are wheelchair accessible; locations that are wheelchair accessible often do not have change tables appropriate for children/youth larger than a toddler. Please inquire about wheelchair accessibility with the camp/program BEFORE registering. If wheelchair accessibility is a barrier, please contact the EKC Coordinator to investigate possible solutions.


What do I need to tell the program that a child/youth in my care will be attending with EKC support?

  • We request that you inform the camp/program you are registering your child/youth for that they will be attending with a Support Worker at the time of registration; the EKC Coordinator will contact the program afterwards to confirm support.

  • The camp/program may ask about why your child/youth requires additional support at camp or ask to communicate with Lansdowne service providers to learn how they can help support your child/youth at their camp/program.

  • Many camps/community programs will ask during registration if your child/youth requires support at the program – please note that this question is not referring to whether they will be attending with a Support Worker, but whether they can safely/successfully attend without one. Please provide an honest answer and note that the camp/program reserves the right to determine that a child/youth requires support to attend should challenges arise without additional support.


How do I register a child/youth for a camp or other community program?

  • The registration process varies between camps and programs – most registrations and payments are made online or over the phone with the camp/program of choice. It is the responsibility of the parent/caregiver to register their child/youth for their desired camp/program. If you require guidance throughout the registration process, please contact the EKC Coordinator for assistance.


The child(ren)/youth in my care have aged out of most community programs/camps - how can we utilize EKC support?

  • Some camps/programs make exceptions to accept children/youth who are beyond the typical age range for the camp/program. Please speak with the camp/program about registering your child/youth if they are older than the cutoff age to request an exception. 

  • EKC support can also be used in other inclusive community locations throughout the school year, such as swimming, going to the gym, bowling, youth programs, etc. Please reach out to the EKC Coordinator for ideas on how to use this support if your child/youth has aged out of most programs.


Can a child/youth be sent home or ‘suspended’ from camp if they have a Support Worker?

  • Community camps/programs reserve the right to send home or ‘suspend’ participants from their camp/program, regardless of additional support provided. This could be due to persistent unsafe and/or aggressive behaviours such as eloping, violence towards staff or peers, etc. The EKC Coordinator, Support Worker, and camp/program staff will make every effort to problem-solve to avoid a participant being asked to leave the camp/program. 


While attending a camp/community program with EKC, is Lansdowne or the camp/community program responsible for the participating child/youth?

  • When registered for a community camp or program, the child/youth is in the care of the camp or program they are registered for. The Support Worker’s responsibility is to provide the extra 1:1 support that the camp/program staff cannot provide due to staff to client ratios for safety.


Other Inquiries:


We previously were allotted two weeks of EKC support per fiscal year – why am I only currently being offered one week?

  • EKC aims to serve as many children/youth as possible per fiscal year, while ensuring that our summer staff have full-time work for July and August. If we have not filled every EKC participant spot by June, families will be offered a second week of support should there be Support Workers available.


When is the best time of year to use EKC support?

  • EKC consistently has the most staff available in the summer (July and August) – during the summer months, EKC must be used for a full week of day camp. During the school year, we offer support for evening recreation programs (Guides/Scouts, sports teams, youth clubs, etc.) based on staff availability. We may only be able to support 1-2 children/youth at these programs between September and June. Though EKC can be used for the second half of winter break or for March Break, we often are only able to support 1-2 children/youth for these breaks due to staff availability.


Can EKC be used for winter or March Break camps?

  • EKC can be used for winter break camps (ONLY the week after New Year’s Day, not for programs between Christmas and New Year’s Day) and for March Break camps, depending on Support Worker availability. We often only have room to support 1-2 children/youth for these breaks, meaning it can be difficult to access support at these times.


Can I reserve a week of EKC support before registering with a camp?

  • You may request to reserve a spot for your child/youth for a specific week if the camp/program’s registration is not open yet; in this case, you expected to register within 48 hours of the registration opening, and contact the EKC Coordinator as soon as the child/youth has been registered. Should you need more time to register (e.g., waiting for pay day, out of town when registration opens, etc.) please contact the EKC Coordinator to plan a reasonable timeline. If the EKC Coordinator has not received confirmation of registration within 48 hours of the agreed-upon registration time, the child/youth’s spot will be forfeited to the next child/youth on the waitlist. 


Can I use EKC support for daycare or before/after school care?


If my child/youth needs before/after care for camp, can the Support Worker attend with them?

  • A Support Worker can attend before and/or after care with a child/youth for camp with EKC if the total of hours of support do not exceed 44 hours per week. If you should require support exceeding 44 hours for the week, please contact the EKC Coordinator (accommodations will be made when possible).


Can we use EKC support for something other than day camp in the summer months (July and August)?

  • EKC Support can only be used for day camps during the months of July and August.



Will my child/youth and I get to meet with their Support Worker before they start the camp/program?

  • We always try to arrange a match visit if desired – sometimes match visits cannot be accommodated due to the Support Worker’s schedule and availability, but we make every effort to arrange a meeting before the camp/program begins. 



Can my child/youth/s Respite Support Worker be their EKC Support Worker?

  • Scheduling priority goes to Recreation Support Workers when it comes to staffing EKC; a Respite Support Worker can be used for EKC if all Recreation Support Workers have already been scheduled for work. 



Where does EKC funding come from?



How many children/youth does EKC support per year?

  • EKC is currently able to support about 90 children/youth per fiscal year.



How do I contact the EKC Coordinator?

  • The EKC Coordinator, Jessa Crerar, can be reached by phone at 519-751-3153 ext. 405 or by email at jcrerar@lansdownecc.com


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