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Some daycares raising prices because of minimum wage hike

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Doyle, Aileen
Publication Date: 
11 Dec 2017


Some daycare services are raising their prices to cope with Ontario’s hike to minimum wage.  

Amanda Ferguson sends her son to Little Start every morning and after school. She was shocked when she received a notice from the daycare that prices were increasing on Jan. 1.

She says she pays $36.75 a day for her son's category of care. But when the increase happens, she says she will be paying $101.18.

“I'm worried about Christmas. I'm worried about the new year. Am I going to be able to afford other things in life to be able to provide better for him?”

Kassandra Norton also sends her child to Little Start. She says her rates are increasing 26 per cent from $52.50 per day to $69.30.

Minimum wage is going up to $14 an hour in January. Making things more difficult, the province is changing the way it doles out money for childcare.

Non-profit centers will get higher subsidies to cover staff costs, than private sector centres.

“There's absolutely no way for us to cut staff to recoup any of those costs,” says Kim Yeaman, director of children's services for Simcoe Childcare Services.

Private centres still have to follow provincial regulations when it comes to staff numbers, which doesn't leave business owners many options

“Mortgage, food, equipment, those types of things and cutting those in any way shape or form would lessen the quality of our programs,” Yeaman says.

The County of Simcoe wants to help and says private centres have increased prices too quickly.

“We need them for our families and our children, and maybe there is a way to at least temporarily mitigate some of the impact of minimum wage and new changes in childcare legislation,” says Jan Janssen, director of children and community services for the county.

Until that happens, parents have to prepare for the worst.  Ferguson says she is taking her son out of childcare to stay with her sister until she finds a better solution.

The province has given out an extra $12.5 million to try and help in the coming year. Simcoe County gets $400,000 of that.

The county is hoping to use some of it to help private childcare centres.

-reprinted from CTV News