Martha Friendly & Carolyn Ferns
May 11th, 2015
The availability of child care spaces in Ontario are no surprise nor untrue, but as an article tries to "expose" this they fail to realize that much of the content written is untrue.
The report relies largely on semantic and numerical gymnastics, sets up straw men, then knocks them down ("centre waiting lists are not a good measure of demand") and suggests intentional obfuscation on the part of Toronto Children’s Services ("vacancies in daycare are a well-guarded secret"). It also barely touches on how key child care elements fit in -- part-day nursery schools often used by parents not in the labour force, regulated home child care and parental leave. It doesn’t discuss how key affordability is to how parents access spaces. And when it makes the accusation that "preferential funding granted to centre-based daycare [which] discriminates against parents using other forms of ELCC, and makes parental care the most expensive option" it leaves out the massive federal spending on the Universal Child Care Benefit (UCCB).
There are factual errors such as conflating "institutional" centre-based daycare with all non-parental care more generally, misunderstanding how parents access services (can a parent in Scarborough use child care in Etobicoke?) and confusing Toronto's subsidy wait list with space waiting lists. And if Ontario had "opted to compensate centres for lost revenue created by the full-day kindergarten program," it would have been good news to everyone but wasn't so.
Read the full article here