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Local response rate to $10/day childcare 'pretty good'

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Of the 47 childcare providers in Guelph and Wellington County, 90 per cent of those who have responded so far want in
Pare, Chris
Publication Date: 
18 Aug 2022


An expanded timeline to respond, and a more standardized process, but not much else has changed for the County of Wellington to process applications for the $10-a-day child care program.

In fact, some providers are about to get their funding allocation for 2022.

This comes after Ontario extended the deadline for providers to declare their intent to opt in or out of the program from Sept. 1 to Nov. 1.

The county's social services administrator said there's been a "pretty good" response rate.

There are 47 service providers in Guelph and Wellington County, and 70 per cent have submitted their intentions already.

It seems to be an overwhelming yes. Luisa Artuso tells GuelphToday 90 per cent of those who returned their letters want to opt in.

As for the split between for-profit providers and not-for-profit, it's pretty much down the middle, whether it's the 33 who responded or the 14 who have not.

"It's not like we're hearing all from one group, and not from someone else," Artuso said. "It's a mix between in both whose responded, and who has yet to respond.

"I think our community's in pretty good shape."

Municipalities are being told they have to share an example of an agreement with all operators by Aug. 29.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce believes changes will provide more confidence to operators to opt in, addressing the extension, "the red tape reduction, the streamlining, the certainty of the numbers when it comes to the fiscal impact for next year and beyond."

Other changes include executing an agreement within 30 calendar days of an application, down from 60. Operators will then need to provide parents with rebates within 20 days of receiving their funding allocation.

Despite the extension, parents can still expect to see an average of 50 per cent savings by the end of the year.

For the ones that already submitted either an intent to opt in, or the full applications, nothing new needs to be done.

Artuso said operators still have until the end of the year to submit their application.

"With this shift, it does impact our service agreement, so we have to go back and change our guidelines," she said. "We have to take another look at our applications and see if there are any changes that need to be made, and we also now need to look at our service agreement and revise all the documents that we just finished completing. 

"It's easier to revise than to create, so I don't think it's going to be a huge impact on us to make these slight revisions to the documents that we've already developed."

For the turnaround time for applications, Artuso said they're still well within ministry requirements.

"Within a three-week period, once an operator has submitted a fully completed, and accurately completed application, we could have the funds forwarded to them," she said.