(March 23,2010 Front Page – Laurie Monserbraaten, Soical Justice Reporter)
Thursday’s provincial budget must replace lost federal subsidy, critics warn McGuinty.
The loss of $63.5 million in federal child care cash next month and the fall launch of all-day kindergarten for 4- and 5-year olds is creating the “perfect storm” in Ontario’s child care system, advocates warn.
If Queen’s Park doesn’t pick up the loss in Thursday’s budget, at least 7,600 child care subsidies will disappear, fees will rise and parents may not be able to work, they say.
“We are facing a catastrophic collapse of the child care system in this province, with the loss of those subsidies, centres will have to lay off staff, parent fees will have to rise and many programs will be forced close,” said Andrea Calver of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.“
The federal money is part of $252 million in child-care funds Ontario received from Ottawa in 2006 when the Harper government cancelled a previous $5-billion national child care plan. Instead of spending all the money that year, Ontario spread it over four years to support about 7,600 new child-care subsidies. The last $63.5 million installment runs out April 1.
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