Today at General Committee, staff from the City’s Recreation Division announced that the City of Mississauga received its HIGH FIVE® Accreditation from Parks and Recreation Ontario (PRO). HIGH FIVE is Canada’s only national accreditation framework that promotes quality standards for children’s sports and recreation. It offers a holistic approach to child development based on years of research and validated by experts in related fields.
“We’re very proud to be recognized as an accredited HIGH FIVE organization and to be the largest municipality in Canada to receive this designation,” said Shari Lichterman, Director, Recreation. “This accreditation validates our efforts and showcases our strength and commitment to providing the best possible experiences for children participating in our programs while promoting healthy child development.”
Receiving the HIGH FIVE Accreditation advances the City’s Strategic Pillar of Belong by promoting the benefits that children gain through participation in recreation programs. Through the HIGH FIVE Accreditation, the City has been recognized for:
- child-centred standards and procedures;
- HIGH FIVE certified staff; and
- quality assessment tools.
Lichterman added, “As a municipal leader in sports and recreation, Mississauga is regarded for its first-class programming that enhances the quality of life for residents. We’ve received accolades including the HIGH FIVE Accreditation, the Platinum Youth Friendly Community Status and are currently working towards receiving the Age-Friendly Community Status.”
To obtain the HIGH FIVE Accreditation, the City had to:
- provide training to 1,800 front line instructors in the principles of healthy child development, including all lifeguards and swimming instructors;
- provide training to 50 full-time supervisors and managers;
- assess approximately 2,000 existing, unique programs offered over a 24-month period; and
- review and develop processes, procedures and policies.
For more information about the City’s sports and recreational programs and activities, visit mississauga.ca/recreation.
The HIGH FIVE framework identifies four areas of organizational effectiveness that are essential to the delivery of quality programs for children and lays out specific goals to track an organization’s progression throughout the accreditation process. These are:
- Training and Development – comprehensive training for all staff levels in the area of healthy child development – from front line instructors working with children to supervisors and managers responsible for staff supervision and procedures and policy development respectively.
- Program Assessments – tools and practices to observe, assess and support front line instructor’s interactions with children in recreation programs.
- Policies and Procedures – continuous improvement systems that support the implementation of nationally recognised quality assurance practices leading to accreditation.
- Branding and Promotion – to parents about the organization’s pursuit and attainment of nationally recognized accreditation for providing quality children’s recreation programs.