TORONTO – Students and child care advocates announced today that they have collected thousands of petitions calling for greater public investment in child care in Ontario. The call comes as part of the Students for Better Child Care campaign, which promotes increased access to affordable, accessible, full-time and barrier-free public child care services for students and all Ontarians.
“Students in Ontario not only face the highest tuition fees in the country, but also face a child care system that denies subsidies to part-time students, leaving them struggling to pay upwards of $40 to $80 a day, or $15,000 per year for each child,” said Cindy Brownlee, Mature and Part-Time Students Commissioner for the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario (CFS-O).
If fewer families can afford licensed child care, centres may experience vacancies and be forced to close despite the high need in their communities. Due to underfunding and impacts from the full-day kindergarten program, parents can expect to see child care fees increase from 15 to 30 per cent in coming months.
“In Ontario, there are only licensed child care spaces for one in five children, leaving the rest without high quality, early learning opportunities,” said Andrea Calver, Coordinator of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC). “We call on all political parties in the Ontario election to commit to fixing this crisis and ensure there are affordable, licensed spaces for every child.”
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of Ontario. The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care advocates for universally accessible, high quality, not-for-profit, regulated child care in the province of Ontario.