Ontario budget leaves Ontario’s poorest children behind

Toronto Star 

"There was no money for affordable child care. Apart from a reminder that “full-day kindergarten helps families manage their time,” the province offered no hope to low-income parents waiting for subsidized child care. In Toronto alone there are 16,802 eligible children in the queue.

Investing in child care has a double payback. It improves the life chances of low-income kids and frees their mothers to work. Without out a strong start, many disadvantaged kids don’t complete high school, let alone go on to college or university.

There was no money for Ontario’s 47 children’s aid societies. They care for the most vulnerable children in the province. Report after report has documented serious problems in the child protection system; kids in groups being physically restrained, sedated and injured; kids being placed with abusive relatives or foster families; kids under the province’s care dropping out of school, running away and ending up on the streets. Ontario’s Advocate for Children and Youth, Irwin Elman, keeps sounding the alarm to no avail.

Lack of funding is not the only problem, but it limits the ability of children’s aid workers to resolve family disputes, work with parents trapped in a spiral of addiction violence and come up with better alternatives than taking away their children permanently."