Daycare centres have been slow to sign up for a program that will eventually become $10-a-day daycare.
One centre in Kingston’s west end has decided to opt out completely. The owner of Bayside Montessori says that is because there are still too many unanswered questions.
“It’s not specifically telling us what’s going to happen in 2023,” Melissa Coy explains. “It isn’t laying out exactly what’s going to happen, so our concern is where do the fees from our salaries come from? Where do the fees from our special programming come from?”
Over the next four years, the federal and provincial governments are working to reduce the cost of childcare to $10-a-day, something many parents have praised.
But the city of Ottawa says only 22 per cent of its childcare providers have registered for the program so far.
In Kingston, one third of centres have done the same.
A child in Bayside’s full-day Montessori program costs parents more than $1,400 a month, and there are concerns that government funding won’t be enough.
“We use the parents’ money; it’s the only thing that funds us,” says Coy. “And we use that money to give them music classes, to take them on quality field trips, to make sure they’ve got the best foods to eat, to make sure they’re cared for and they’re healthy.”
The Ontario government extended the deadline for daycare providers to sign up to Nov. 1.
Coy says no parent has left her program over her decision, and hopes any $10-a-day program does not come at the expense of learning.
“I was a mom once. I would like families to have this,” she tells CTV News Ottawa.