Breaking News - Bill 242 Passes Third Reading at Queen's Park; Transition Funding for Child Care Announced; Licensed Child Care to Move to the new Early Years Division
Link to Ontario Government Press Release and Materials, please click here
Just back from Queen’s Park – Minister of Education Leona Dombrowski and Minister of Children and Youth Services Laurel Broten just made the following announcement:
1. Ontario Passes Full-Day Learning Legislation
This Legislation allows School Boards to operate the full-day learning program including ECE’s in the classroom, the extended day program and to allow school boards to collect fees for the extended day.
For more information on the Bill and Amendments, please see our Bulletin here.
2. Funding for additional fee subsidies and captital funding announced for child care programs
When Premier McGuinty announced the full-day learning program, background materials talked about the necessity of transitional and capital funding for child care programs.
The Government announced new Provincial funding for:
- fee subsidies
- light capital
Funding for additional fee subsidies will start this year at $6 million and grow to $51 million over five years. It is new permanent Provincial funding (in addition to the $63.5 million replacing Federal funding from the last budget).
Funding for light capital starts this year, is available only to not-for-profit child care centres and grows to $12 million in five years (not permanent funding).
3. Transfer of licensed child care programs from Ministry of Children and Youth Services to the Early Years Division, Ministry of Education
Effective Monday, licensed child care programs will fall under the Ministry of Education. Licensing specialists will continue to fall under MCYS until they are transferred to the Ministry of Education.
For child care programs, there is no immediate change. The Municipal role in delivering child care programs remains the same.
Of course, most parents don’t care which Ministry is responsible – they want affordable, high quality care for both their 4 1/2 year old child and their 2 1/2 year old child. That’s why we need a comprehensive system of early learning and child care for all families.
Family resource programs, OEYC’s, Parent and Family Literacy Centres etc will remain with MCYS. Dr. Charles Pascal will be an Advisor to the Minister of Children and Youth Services to develop Best Start Child and Family Centres.
Will child care programs be accountable to school boards?
No, child care will be under the Early Years Division but not school boards. Municipalities will continue to manage our programs.
Will we still have the Day Nurseries Act?
Yes, Bill 242 amended the Education Act. For the Day Nurseries Act to be amended, it would have to go through a similar Legislative process. Child care centres are still under the DNA.
Isn’t licensed child care a critical part of a Best Start Child and Family Centre?
Yes, I’m told that is one of a number of areas that will need inter-ministerial cooperation.
Will new money for subsidies and capital stop child care centre closures?
No. We have long-term financial problems and full-day learning has huge impacts. The capital money is small, and new fee subsidies don’t solve the problem of transition funding for municipalities as they try to help your centres through this time.
Together, we face many challenges and much upheaval over the next few years. It is incredibly important for licensed child care and the early learning and child care sector to fill out the Financial Impacts Survey, sponsored by several different groups.
The survey is available here.
Please email me your questions - firstname.lastname@example.org
And watch for further information soon!