Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Plan Needs More Action on Child Care

December 4, 2008 - Toronto

Universal child care programs are important in a good economy and absolutely crucial in a bad economy. Quality child care is good for children and it enables their parents to work or go to school.

Today’s “Poverty Reduction Plan” puts off investments in child care to another day. That is short sighted. Delays in meaningful investments will drive

Ontario families into deeper poverty. The Provincial Government needs to act quickly to invest in early learning and child care programs.

Universal and affordable child care is a critical component of a strategy to reduce child poverty. Over the last 12 years, provincial spending on child care programs has amounted to just $50 million dollars, despite promises from the current government. For parents that means child care is hard to find and hard to afford.

Over the past ten years,

Quebec has seen a reduction in child poverty of 50% which is attributed to their universal and affordable child care program. In the 2008 Provincial Budgets in Quebec and

Manitoba, our neighbouring Provinces both announced five year plans to significantly invest in early learning and child care programs.

“We acknowledge the importance of reducing poverty in Ontario. Quality child care not only helps parents enter and stay in the workforce, it also helps pay for itself through higher tax revenues from working parents,” states Jenny Robinson Executive Director, Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC).