Ontario considers changing daycare ages and staff-child ratio

The Globe and Mail 

"The province is proposing to reduce the age at which infants move up to the toddler room to 12 months from the current 18 months, and to reduce the staff-child ratio for infants under 12 months to three adults for every nine children from three adults for every 10 children. The province will also require that toddler rooms be larger.

“What we think now is most operators will opt out of providing infant care if this is passed,” said Elaine Baxter-Trahair, the City of Toronto’s general manager of children’s services, which directly operates 50 daycare centres and subsidizes thousands of other spaces in childcare centres operated by other agencies.

Some Toronto daycare centres that are in older buildings or schools will not be able to enlarge their toddler rooms, she said, and the new lower staff-to-child ratio will leave some of them financially strapped. She said the “unanticipated consequences” of the proposed changes could cancel out the 300 new infant spaces the city has recently created.

Ms. Baxter-Trahair said the changes will also make infant care more expensive for parents and for the city, while making care for children older than a year cheaper."