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Child-care changes dangerous to children, families

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Re: Child-care wait list expected to grow
Friendly, Martha
Publication Date: 
3 May 2019


Your story on the Ford government’s child-care funding cuts quotes Brantford-Brant PC MPP Will Bouma saying, “this will offer parents more choice” and this is “an opportunity to place their kids in better situations.” This is bunkum.

In my view — as a 40-year childcare researcher — the Ford government’s child-care changes are potentially harmful for children and families. They include: increasing the number of very young children in an unlicensed child-care home to a dangerous level; new opportunities for big-box child-care businesses, not support for better-quality, more efficient non profits; cutting funds for raising educators’ wages to the (new) minimum wage; and slashing funds subsidizing low-income families in licensed child care.

And the “tax rebate” touted as the solution? Parents should read the fine print on that, and learn from Quebec’s now – “two-tier” child-care situation created by a suspiciously similar tax rebate.

Heaps of evidence point to the kinds of policy, funding and public support that work effectively to make child care responsive to and supportive of the needs of children and families. Unfortunately, the Ford government’s fondness for cheaper, less publicly managed, more privatized “choices” runs counter to all of it.