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Soon $386,800 in federal transfer funds will start flowing through the provincial government to the Kenora region in order to provide flexible funding for area child care.
This cash infusion is part of $58.2 million allotted for all of Ontario this year, thanks to the combined efforts of different levels of government putting in place the Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care in 2003.
"We're very excited about getting money for child care," said Dianne Apland, director of Ontario Works and Child Care at the Kenora District Services Board.
Apland is optimistic a plan can be instigated to stabilize current child care programs and to take the burden for keeping child care centres in business off of the City of Kenora. She explained in order to solidify area child care, deficits need to be met. These deficits are currently being paid for by the city. She hopes money from the government can be applied to base programming costs to keep the child care centres functioning.
The district services board will be responsible for distributing funding to the different municipalities in the region, including Kenora, Dryden and Red Lake.
Organizations in Kenora expected to benefit from the governmental influx of dollars include Castle of Learning and Children's Discovery Centre, Cameron Bay Children's Centre, the Association for Community Living and after school programs.
On July 15, Ontario Minister of Children and Youth Services Marie Bountrogianni announced the province's objective of creating 4,000 new subsidized child care spaces.
"The first priority has to be to stabilize what's already there," said Andrew Weir, a spokesman for the minister, stressing the government's interest in making the money work for each municipality in a flexible, supportive manner.
He said adding subsidized spaces, providing funding for those who would not otherwise be able to afford child care, allows day care facilities to function at capacity and eliminate deficits.
"By creating subsidized spaces everyone will benefit."
In the next few weeks representatives from municipalities across the province are expected to meet with government to discuss funding specifics, and to develop their own action plan. Actual federal dollars should reach the needy Kenora landscape by the end of August, beginning of September.
- reprinted from the Kenora Daily Miner and News