NDP Critic for Children and Youth Warns of Daycare Domino effect


Always quick off the mark, Andrea Horwath released a press release noting that the McGunity government failed to keep it's promise of child care funding. Now, with municipalities warning of cuts to child care subsidies, the NDP calls for the Government to keep it's funding promise.


February 4 2009


NDP warns of daycare domino effect


HAMILTON – NDP Children and Youth Critic Andrea Horwath slammed the McGuinty Liberals for severely under-funding child care programs in Ontario with news the province is at risk of losing thousands of publicly-funded child care spaces.


“It’s imperative that Dalton McGuinty immediately address this funding crisis and make the adequate investments he promised,” Horwath said.  “The fact that the federal budget contained no child care funding was disappointing, but was not a surprise.  Child care is a provincial responsibility the McGuinty Liberals have shirked.”


The Hamilton Centre MPP reacted quickly to news that the City of Toronto may be forced to close up to 25 per cent – 6,000 – of all city-run subsidized spaces to make up for a shortfall in funding, if immediate provincial relief is not provided.


Horwath noted that the McGuinty government has yet to follow through with its 2003 campaign promise of investing $300-million new dollars for sustaining and creating more child care spaces in Ontario.  Now, municipalities across the province face dire straits and could begin closing spaces as early as this fall because Ontario relied on federal dollars to fund its provincial program.


“Cutting subsidized spaces will have a destructive and destabilizing effect on the Ontario’s child care system.  Affordable, accessible public child care programs are an investment in our children’s future and our province’s prosperity.  It allows parents—especially mothers—to attend school, continue working, or actively seek employment.  This is an essential component to any poverty reduction strategy,” said Horwath.


Only 12 per cent of Ontario families in need of child care have access to a licensed space.


Tens of thousands of eligible children in Ontario are on waiting lists for a child care subsidy. More than 23,000 children are on these waiting lists from Ottawa, London, Toronto and communities province-wide—12,000 in Toronto alone.


“Dalton McGuinty has a choice to make. He can keep his promise to stand up for the children or he can continue to waste his time searching for scapegoats.”