Premier Dalton McGuinty made a statement with regards to child care funding. This comes after significant pressure from Ontario's NDP that the government address the child care crisis in this year's budget.
We have confirmed that this funding is new money and will be on top of the transitional funding announced two years ago that is "growing to $63 million" by 2015.
$90 million in 2012-13
$68 million in 2013-14
$84 million in 2014-15
The consensus in the child care sector remains that $287 million per year is the amount needed to stabilize our current programs. With this new announcement, next year will see stabilization funding of about $150 million - far short of what is needed.
This new funding does not solve the child care crisis, it does not "save" all child care programs and we will continue to see closures of child care centres and reductions in numbers of spaces. However, it will go a long way towards keeping some programs open.
Credit must be given to the NDP who have asked questions on a weekly basis to keep child care on the agenda at Queen's Park. They have also held numerous community events on the issue, and made child care a primary issue in their budget demands in the lead-up to the budget vote.
From the Premier's announcement:
"Today I spoke with Ms. Horwath about these discussions and indicated a willingness to work together to reach an agreement.
I confirmed that we are taking action to make our budget stronger in two areas: child care and the Ontario Disability Support Program.
These steps can be taken within the government's fiscal plan and by finding savings in less important programs.
To ensure the child care sector remains strong and can help families experience a seamless transition to full-day kindergarten, we will provide additional assistance to child care operators.
The additional funding will give new support to the child care sector and is found within the Ministry of Education's existing budget allocation."
-reprinted from the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care