Ontario falling behind other provinces in providing affordable child care

Oct 15, 2008

From Child Care Watch Newsletter, October 15, 2008

In the 2008 provincial budgets, Quebec allocated $600 million to child care over 5 years. Manitoba allocated $92 million over five years.

Both provinces are making significant, long-term investments to make child care more affordable and available for families.

They have a plan. Ontario needs a plan.

Both provinces took four steps to get started:

Placed a cap on parent fees to make child care affordable. In Quebec parents pay $7 a day. In Manitoba, parents pay $17 a day.In contrast, Ontario parents pay $40 to $65 dollars a day. Many families qualify for a provincial subsidy but tens of thousands of children are on a waiting list because their parents need help paying for child care.

Directly fund child care centres to provide stability in funding.

Significantly increased the salaries of child care staff to ensure educated and committed staff can keep working in child care. In Quebec, salaries went up by 40%, in Manitoba the government has committed to increasing salaries and benefits by 20% over five years.In Ontario, salaries of Early Childhood Educators are among the lowest in Canada. Many trained ECE’s don’t enter the field or leave to look for a job that pays a living wage. Ontario has a crisis in staffing leading to high turnover of staff in child care centres.

Committed to long-term funding for more child care spaces. Over the next 5 years Quebec will add 20,000 child care spaces. In Manitoba will add 6500 child care spaces.Ontario has no plan. The Ontario government doesn’t fund capital funding to help build new not-for-profit child care spaces.

Download our petition to Finance Minister Dwight Duncan.

Download OCBCC's new factsheet: Ontario Needs A Plan for Early Learning and Child Care: Comparing Ontario with our neighbours – Quebec and Manitoba

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