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Ontario election 2022: Focus on child care

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Publication Date: 
11 May 2022


YMCAs provide nearly 1/5th of all licensed child care in Ontario. With more than 76,000 licensed spaces at more than 800 locations, we are the largest provider of not-for-profit child care in the province. We are also a leading child care employer – with more than 7,500 child care staff.

The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement is a game-changer for working women, children and families. It will ensure that affordable, accessible and high-quality licensed child care will be a reality for more Ontario families.


  • A workforce strategy is needed to bring Ontario’s plan to scale. This includes a purposeful plan to recruit, train and retain educators.
    • The compensation commitments in the agreement are a good first step, but will only assist 25% of the workforce. Additional wage enhancements are needed to raise compensation for all educators. High quality programs will not be possible without fair pay.
    • Targeted training programs are needed to bring new educators into the sector and make it easier for current staff to complete their Registered Early Childhood Educator designations.
  • More support is needed for children with special needs: About one in every nine children in Ontario has special needs. A better investment for special needs support in child care will improve the experience of every child.


YMCAs are currently recruiting for 560 vacancies in order to staff current programs, with 3,200 new hires required to reach our licensed capacity. An estimated 9,000+ new educators will be needed across the sector in order to deliver on Ontario’s child care commitments.