Author: Marie

Toronto’s Child-Care Program is a stumbling block

Toronto’s Child-Care Program is a stumbling block

Hoping for $10-a-day child care? Here’s how many Toronto daycares opted in to the federal program last year

Toronto had a record low in the number of government-funded child-care spaces available in 2018, a statistic the Toronto Catholic School Board’s president and CEO, Al Sacco, shared with the Star.

So he is hoping the government will step in to fill the gap. The city had to turn back nearly 300 applications for a total of just 12 per cent of the city’s 1,600 day cares and child-care spaces.

Daycares are the most common form of child care in the City of Toronto. The number of places available has been on the decline for years now, with about 4,500 government-funded daycares in the Toronto region in 2016, compared to just 1,800 three years earlier.

Sacco says there were over 1,800 daycares in the city last year alone. That’s well above the 1,250 per cent increase we saw in the number of places available in the city in two decades.

However, the province has opted out of the federal government’s $7,000 per month subsidy that makes up about 1 per cent of the cost of child care in the city. The Toronto Child-Care Association, which administers the program, says it is considering filing an application with the government for $7,700 in additional funding, though it is unlikely to approve it in the short term.

The federal government says it is also interested in the program, but says the city is still responsible for ensuring it is affordable.

What about the rest of Canada?

Sacco also isn’t optimistic that the federal government will step up to help out his city.

“It’s an open question,” he says. “You just got to hope that the provincial government does not decline what we put in their lap to help the child care population grow.”

The federal subsidy, which brings in between $1.25 and $1.50 per hour

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