1. Feeling trapped on a wait list
Robin Wardle, mother of two, has been unemployed for the last two years as she waits for a subsidized child care space to become available for her daughter. After a four year wait, space became available. Wardle would have to secure a job for her daughter to fill that space. “I can’t have subsidized daycare unless I work,” she said, “and I can’t have work unless I have daycare.”
Out of 53,000 child care spaces, 24,000 are subsidized (22,000 by province).
There are 20,000 people on the child care subsidy wait list.
KPMG has recommended 2000 cuts to child care subsidies.
2. East end families must be proactive on child care or lose spots
KPMG has suggested the city sell off its municipal child care centres as well as cut its quality inspection system, eliminate payments to community-based child care centres for subsidized children and cut the funding for family resource programs, pay equity as well as payments the city makes to school boards to rent child care facilities
49 of the 441 child care spaces in Ward 30 (Toronto – Danforth) and 37 of the 325 spaces in Ward 32 (Beaches – East York) are at risk of elimination.
3. Child care subsidy critical for East York mom
The funding available provides 24,000 child care fee subsidies, which is only enough to support 28 per cent of Toronto’s low-income children.
Michelle Pistano tries not to think about the possibility of losing her space. If that happened she would find a way to finish her paralegal program. “I would have to pay out of pocket,” she said. “I would definitely have to go without some things like food or clothes. I’d have to make major sacrifices.”
4. YORK: mom feeling child care crunch
On the wait list for a city-subsidized day care spot since May, York resident Cassandra Robinson said she was “shocked” to learn of possible cuts to child care services. “Cuts are not feasible,” Robinson said. “It will put more pressure on the welfare system. If you don’t have a subsidy, you’re forced to quit work and go on welfare. If it’s easier to get child care, it will put less pressure on the system.”
5. Group aims to rally parents to bolster child care
The need for a cohesive voice was deepened when a city-commissioned cost-cutting report recommended the phasing out of child care subsidies and the contracting out of municipal child care centres as potential means through which the city could meet budget commitments.
Mothers for Child Care (M4CC) launched in hopes of mobilizing moms and various organizations and agencies to ensure parents have a stronger voice politically.
6. Subsidized child care critical to parents, providers
It would be difficult to overstate the effect on Avan Gureye if she was to lose subsidized child care. Gureye has four children in home-based child care in her Mount Olive neighbourhood of north Etobicoke. Gureye says, “A mother needs to get an education to go to work to go forward with her life. She is the one who succeeds.”
7. Scarborough could see high loss of subsidized child care spaces
Of 2,700 subsidy spaces the city could cut next year, 803 are in Scarborough.
Parents and staff rallying around the Kennedy Road facility, which survived, said removing the coveted subsidy spaces from their Glamorgan neighbourhood meant women at work or in school would be forced back to social assistance at home.
8. Parents hold on to hope day care spaces can be saved
Diane Tristan arrived in Toronto a single mother with three kids and no income. Finding suitable, subsidized child care was crucial. “For me to be able to give my children and good life, I need to work,” said Tristan.
9. Child care subsidies mean getting ahead or falling behind
Parkdale – High Park Councillor Gord Perks brings first-hand knowledge to the debate over subsidies, “Access to quality day care and day care subsidies mean the difference between parents being able to make a good life and getting stuck in a dead end.”