Today’s provincial budget gives families a first glimpse of Ontario’s planned five year expansion of child care, but holds back major policy directions for the anticipated release of the government’s renewed child care framework.
Ontario Budget 2017 moves ahead with the first step of the government’s promise of 100,000 spaces, by committing to 24,000 new child care spaces this year and subsidies for 60% of spaces. But the budget does not outline the total funding plan for expansion, even leaving the capital investment to accompany this year’s 24,000 spaces undisclosed.
With few details on major child care policy planks, families and educators are left to wait another day for promised child care transformation.
“We’re hopeful that today’s budget will be just the start of action on child care this year.” said Carolyn Ferns of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care “But the new child care framework cannot come soon enough. Child care cannot wait.”
The OCBCC has been campaigning for government action on 3 Big Ideas on Child Care: a fee scale that makes child care affordable for all families; decent wages and working conditions for staff; and a limit on for-profit child care. Underpinning these initiatives must be solid direct funding for licensed child care programs to operate.
The OCBCC had called for $500 million in capital funding for this year and at least $200 million in operating funds to keep pace with expansion.
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care