The $13.2 billion child-care agreement between the federal government and the province means licensed city child-care facilities will see fees reduced to $10 a day by September 2025.
Premier Doug Ford and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the agreement Monday. Ontario was the last province to sign on to the federal government’s plan to bring child-care fees down to an average of $10 a day by the end of 2026.
The six-year funding agreement will bring about “significant positive impacts for Ottawa families,” said a memo to councillors from Donna Gray, Ottawa’s general manager of Community and Social Services, which is responsible for planning and managing licensed child-care and early learning programs and services for the city.
“In addition to our pandemic response and recovery work, we are anticipating that our short term priorities in 2022 will be to support reducing fees by 50 per cent on average for families and building an implementation plan for the other important aspects like workforce strategies, system growth and further building towards an average of $10 a day child care by 2025,” said Gray in the memo.
Child-care fees will be reduced in four steps, she said.
In the first step, all Ontario families with children five and younger at participating licensed daycares will see their fees reduced up to 25 per cent to a minimum of $12 a day. Rebates for child-care fees, retroactive to April 1, will begin as early as May.
There will be another reduction in December when families will be fees reduced, on average, by 50 per cent. There will be further reductions in September 2024 and September 2025, to an average of $10 a day.
The province is requiring that licensed child-care service providers and home child-care agencies enrol in a program between now and Sept. 1. The agreement also provides protection for all for-profit and non-profit child-care spaces, said Gray.
“It supports the long-term hiring of new early childhood educators, improved compensation for all Registered Early Childhood Educators working in licensed child care and the creation of approximately 86,000 new, high-quality child care spaces for children five years old and younger.”