Toronto Star: Fee Shocker - Proposed daycare hike 'infuriating' for parents

Toronto Star, February 26, 2010, for the full article, please click here.

"Toronto parents Sarah Fittings and Mykola Jemetz struggle to pay annual daycare fees of more than $30,000 for their 5-year-old daughter and 3-year-old twin boys.

So a city budget proposal that advocates say would add as much as $80 per child per month for parents in Toronto's 373 school-based child-care centres is a shock.

"This is an issue that is dear to many working parents' hearts," said Fittings, 39, whose children attend McMurrich Sprouts Daycare at McMurrich Jr. Public School near St. Clair W. and Oakwood Aves. "For those of us who don't have a parent or relative who can pick up the slack, it's infuriating to think that, once again, it's working families who are going to be paying for the budget crisis in the city."

In an effort to erase the city's $433 million structural deficit, Toronto's children's services department is recommending city council cancel a 12-year agreement with area school boards that covers rent for school-based child-care centres and family resource centres. The agreement costs the city $5.8 million annually. Since Toronto would still pay rent for subsidized spaces and family resource centres, the net savings would be about $3.2 million by 2011, budget documents say."

It would affect more than half of the 652 child-care centres the city funds through subsidy and wage agreements.