Everyday Heroes Kids: How Canadian Families are Fighting to Get Healthcare for their Children

There are many challenges and disparities faced by families when accessing care in our fragmented system.  In order to create a more seamless experience, innovative solutions must continue to be supported by the Government of Canada and ecosystem collaborators.

Children’s Healthcare Canada states that, “If we could transform the system of health and services to be more accessible and easier to navigate, that would be the most profound change we could make.”

The problems we have today are not cyclical in nature and what we are going to see in the coming years are things we have never seen before: mental health challenges rising at epidemic rates, one in five children have a learning disability, Autism diagnoses increased by 70% over last decade and an estimated 1.5M new immigrants to Canada in the next 3 years.

As Canadians, we need to think in a pre-emptive manner, not in a reactive manner – this is the cost-effective way. Everyday Heroes Kids (EHKids), a free online community, is trying to accomplish a transformational change to our healthcare system – right injustices and improve access to care for even the most remote populations or those with the least access to care.

“Although these providers are exceptional performers, boundaries and barriers to proper care are created by a lack of integration, and children and families are left to integrate their care on their own.” – SickKids 5 Year Strategy 2015-2020

women helping children in school

Finding the Right Professional at the Right Time Can be Life Changing for a Child

Tammany Petrie is a mom of 2 sons, one born profoundly deaf and her other son diagnosed with ADHD.  As a former SickKids parent mentor volunteer and the advocate for her own children, Tammany experienced first-hand the challenges

Tammany founded Everyday Heroes Kids after frustrations trying to find professionals to help her kids. Searching online gave the same few names over and over across Canada. More resources existed but couldn’t be found!

Knowing families deserved better, Tammany’s team spent 2 years developing a solution at St. Michael’s Hospital’s accelerator.

In 2020, they launched EHKids. It connects families to profiles of health and mental health professionals and organizations. EHKids improves access to all the resources parents need, even ones unknown. The goal is earlier intervention, saving time, money and stress.

The Sector began assisting EHK in 2020 through its Investment Readiness Program. This enabled EHK to expand its platform, generate revenue and access social finance. The Sector provided expert guidance on EHK’s Theory of Change and impact measurement.

The Sector sees EHK’s potential for significant medical impact on children. It could positively transform Canada’s healthcare system as a social enterprise.

Connecting Care, Canada-Wide with Everyday Heroes Kids

Currently, parents/caregivers struggle to find professionals, especially for the first time. The process is slow, heightening concern, stress, unknowns, and fear.

Everyday Heroes Kids solves access to kids’ care and accessibility for professionals. It reduces time to connect children who need care with the right professional. Faster connections improve outcomes for all.

Their current roadmap priorities are to increase the number of professionals and organizations on the platform, raise awareness among families and to improve on their existing desktop application (before investing in an app) in order to  extend their reach and impact across Canada.

The Bottom Line

EHK makes an innovative request for your support to transform healthcare in a way many NPOs desire. This sends a message of real change that people can feel – not just talk about.

Since its launch, Everyday Heroes Kids gained support from the Government of Canada, pediatric hospitals, NPOs, professionals, sponsors like Rogers Communications and Cochlear Canada, and national features. The platform now includes over 1,000 professionals and organizations. Users have performed over 140,000 searches.

Everyday Heroes Kids, supported by The Sector has been able to get past the proof of concept stage and establish a strong foundation to support the pediatric community.  However, they are looking for ecosystem partners to help prove the impact EHKids is capable of on a national scale and ensure they can continue to deliver this free service to families across Canada and break through to that higher level.

Their team has done the leg work and have taken it to this point. We all know it is a problem, and now they need the right ecosystem collaborators/change agents around them to make this come to fruition so that we can ensure kids in need of care receive the care they need.

“Canada ranks the poorest for Children’s health and well-being outcomes of the countries with strong economic, environment and social systems.” – UNICEF Canada

co-operative care alliance photo

The Sector is grateful to support Simon Berge at Karma Co-op. Our partnership is growing because we share the same mission – to create positive change for the good of people. By working together, we can transform senior care through new cooperative models that empower workers and improve quality. Our alliance is committed to building an equitable, compassionate care sector that leaves no one behind.

The Need for Innovative Elder Care Models

elderly people having fun together

The way our society cares for its elders is undergoing an exciting shift, thanks to innovative organizations like the Co-operative Care Alliance (CCA). CCA is pioneering a new, community-based co-operative model for senior care that aims to keep seniors independent and empower care workers.

Founded in 2019, CCA is a non-profit cooperative association seeking to transform the senior care sector. It acts as an incubator that helps home care workers convert their individual businesses into co-operatives. This shift gives workers more control, better wages and benefits, and a real say in care decisions.

For example, CCA has supported the launch of the Home Care Workers Co-op, which enables personal support workers to manage their own co-operative. This allows workers to focus on providing quality care rather than maximizing corporate profits.

Advocating for Policy Changes for Co-operative Home Care

home care is accessible to elders easily

In addition to incubating worker-owned co-operatives, CCA advocates for policy changes to make co-operative home care more accessible. It also acts as a care provider itself – hiring personal support workers directly and connecting them to clients.

The goal is to scale the cooperative model to offer families an empowering alternative to nursing homes and for-profit home care agencies. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, innovations like CCA will be essential to meet the growing need for dignified, community-based senior care.

By taking care of care workers first, CCA helps build an equitable and sustainable care sector that treats both seniors and caregivers as valued human beings. The cooperative approach represents an inspiring evolution in how we care for our aging population. It puts people over profits and quality care over corporate bottom lines. CCA offers an exciting glimpse into the future of senior care.

Read the full article, here

new regent park sewing studio for neighborhood women, empowering community

Supporting the Centre of Learning & Development’s Programming and Initiatives 

The Sector has supported the work of the Centre of Learning & Development (CL&D) for over two years by empowering community. Specifically, we have supported initiatives focused on employment readiness and social incubation. CL&D was founded in 1979 as East End Literacy. In 2006, it changed its name to reflect expanding initiatives and ongoing dedication to development and inclusion. Today, CL&D offers programs in: Adult Literacy, Leadership Development, Immigrant Integration, Civic Engagement, and Skills Development.

Research to Adapt CL&D’s Immigrant Women Integration Program 

Most recently, we finished a project researching CL&D’s Immigrant Women Integration Program. This free training readies newcomer women through certifications, classes, research, mentoring, and placement. Our research focused on adapting the program for the post-pandemic world. We ensured offerings meet employer needs, leverage trends, and address skills gaps. This research also supported CL&D’s application for Career College status.

Empowering Community Regent Park Sewing Studio Social Enterprise 

Additionally, we are fostering the Regent Park Sewing Studio social enterprise. This group of neighborhood women design, sew, take orders, teach classes, and sell at markets. They have a long partnership with OCAD’s DesignWITH hub focused on upcycling. With our support, they will formalize their partnership, develop sustainability plans, and grow their audience. We are honored to support CL&D’s continual innovation and inspiring empowerment in downtown east Toronto.

The Bottom Line: 

The Sector has supported the Centre of Learning & Development’s continual innovation and inspiring community empowerment through conducting research, providing advising, and fostering social enterprise. CL&D exemplifies anchoring community leadership. We look forward to our continued collaboration and are excited to see what’s next for this visionary organization creating real social change in downtown east Toronto and beyond. 

Stay on top of the latest happenings in social impact and social finance with our monthly roundup. We cover new funds, innovative products, impact reports, events, and more in the world of impact investing and social entrepreneurship.

line of chairs. All white except 1 yellow


There are some great job opportunities right now in impact investing and social enterprise. Here are a few current openings:

  • Chief Lending Officer at XYZ Community Finance, closing July 31st. They’re seeking someone to lead lending strategy for affordable housing and small business.
  • Investment Manager at ABC Foundation, closing August 15th. Looking for someone to manage their impact investment portfolio focused on cleantech, healthcare, and education access.
  • Director of Partnerships at 123 Social Ventures, closing September 1st. Seeking a leader to develop corporate and nonprofit partnerships for their workforce development programs.

New Funds and Products

Exciting to see some new impact-focused investment products launching:

  • Green Bank LLC closed their inaugural climate tech venture capital fund at $250 million in capital commitments. The fund will invest globally into startups reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Community Credit Union launched a new impact GIC product that directs invested capital toward affordable housing projects. Great to see mainstream financial inclusion.
  • Breakthrough Ventures announced the first close of their women’s economic empowerment fund at $75 million. The fund will invest in companies improving livelihoods for low-income women globally.

team referring to charts and new funding

Reports and Learning

Some good resources published recently:

  • ABC Foundation released their 2021 impact report, detailing impact metrics and case studies from across their portfolio. Kudos on the transparency.
  • XYZ University published a research report on racial equity as a systemic investment risk. Recommended reading on this important topic.
  • Skillup Canada shared findings from their recent workshop series on social procurement. Lots of insights on how to boost social enterprise participation.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:

  • Regional Impact Summit, August 10-12th in Calgary. Connecting Alberta-based foundations, nonprofits, social enterprises and impact investors.
  • Women Investing for Impact, September 20-21st in Toronto. Convening high-net worth women interested in impact investing.
  • Impact Finance Course, starting October 5th online. Eight week course on impact measurement, deal structuring and more.


Content inspired by the excellent regular roundups by Lars Boggild on LinkedIn. Check out his feed for the latest news and opportunities in impact investing and social finance.