Ontario is taking a significant step towards creating 45,000 new licensed child care spaces in schools, communities and other public spaces by funding almost 500 new child care rooms at 188 schools across the province. As a result of this investment, more than 8,400 children and their families will gain access to high-quality licensed care in a safe, convenient setting.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was with Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care, at Santa Maria Catholic School in Toronto to announce funding for 2017-18.
Helping more families access quality, affordable child care is an essential part of the government's plan for a fairer, better Ontario. It will give more children a safe, caring environment in which to learn and grow, and allow more women to go back to work and pursue their careers, which is critical to closing the gender wage gap.
As part of a five-year commitment to help 100,000 more children up to the age of four access child care, Ontario is investing up to $1.6 billion in capital projects alone. This will add an estimated 45,000 new licensed child care spaces in schools and other community settings. Additionally, the province is increasing operating funding and subsidies to help more children aged 0-4 years access quality child care.
During this period of rapid economic change, the government knows it must step up to create fairness and opportunity for families. In addition to providing easier access to affordable child care for 100,000 more children, the plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.
- Ontario is providing more than $1 million to create two new child care rooms at Santa Maria Catholic School, with space for 39 children, as part of a total investment of $231 million across the province in 2017–18.
- Since 2012–13, the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to almost 390,000 — a 32 per cent increase.
- In June, Ontario released its Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework and Expansion Plan, which outlines a vision for a high-quality, inclusive and affordable early years and child care system.
“One of the biggest sources of stress young families tell me about is finding and affording quality child care. If you can’t get child care, you don’t know when you’ll be able to go back to work. That’s not fair, and it is up to government to step up and do something about it. That’s what our plan does and why we are moving so quickly to build new child care rooms at hundreds of schools all over Ontario." Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
“Creating more licensed child care spaces in schools is key to building an early years and child care system that is seamless and accessible for families in Ontario. These school-based spaces support young children and their families with access to affordable, high-quality care closer to home. By investing in our children's early years, we are giving them a strong start in life and building a strong future for all of us.” Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care
“Ontario’s schools are places where communities come together to grow and thrive. By integrating more licensed child care spaces into schools, we are building a stronger education system that supports students and their families from the earliest years onward.” Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education
-reprinted from the Government of Ontario