Middle Childhood

Middle Childhood

Middle Childhood refers to the time in a child's life when they are between the ages of 6 and 12 years. These years mark an important time in a child’s growth and development.

While these children are in school for most of the day, they continue to need programs/care while their parents are at work or school. Providing children, and their families, with engaging, high quality programs during their out-of-school time is crucial in supporting this important developmental period.


Toronto Middle Childhood Strategy - front coverWorking in partnership with the community, the City developed a Middle Childhood Strategy - an action plan to move toward a system of accessible, high-quality before- and after-school programs for children in middle childhood. The Strategy is accompanied by the Toronto Middle Childhood Strategy Implementation Plan, which contains goals and actions approved by City Council.


An Opportunity for Every Child: Realizing the Potential of After- School Programming for Children ages 6 – 12 in Toronto

To support a system of accessible, high-quality before- and after-school programs for children in middle childhood, the City has led a number of research projects related to system planning, programming and quality.

Toronto after-school programs: What really matters?

Toronto Children’s Services, in collaboration with its partners, researched and developed Quality Standards for out-of-school-time programs serving children between the ages of 6 to12. This research involved children, parents, program staff and supervisors involved in after-school programs and asked them to identify what they believed were the most important characteristics of high-quality after-school programs.

School-age Quality Standards Research Report

Supporting continuous quality improvement in Toronto’s after-school programs is important for children, families, program staff and the broader system. In 2016 Toronto Children’s Services embarked on a research project to evaluate the effectiveness of the School-age Quality Standards Inventory in supporting program’s quality improvement.

Back to: Planning