The Toronto Star
Ontario's focus on all-day kindergarten ignores looming child care crisis
Many parents and child care providers want to know what will happen to "children 0-3 years of age" when full-day learning is in full effect. There is no provincial money for child care and this is causing many centers to become at risk of closing. The Ministry of Education has no long-term plan for child care in Ontario. There is currently 21,000 children on the waiting list for subsidies spaces or many are paying too much for spots in their neighborhood. 320 centers serving 20,000 families will have to convert their centers to accommodate younger children. This puts them at risk of having to raise their fees, high staff turn overs, to cut services or even close.
In Alberta there have been centers brought by stock market companies in hope to make investors rich.
We need $27.4 million in funding for help with renovations and have only got $1.1 million in the last 3 years. We also need another $27 million for subside and have only received $4 million. The cost for child care is on average $1,200 per month for one child.
With the Drummond report the city has not ruled out slowing the implementation of full-day learning down making it come into full effect in 2018. The idea of full-day learning in the beginning was to free spaces while the funding would stay in the system. The child care system have insufficient tools and resources to deal with the impact that full-day learning has had.
There will be two public campaigns held on February 21 and February 28. We need the province to commit to new funding and a long-term plan. Municipalities need to give child care $6.5 million in order to save 2000 subsidies.
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