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Ontario child care centres warn they are at risk of closure without more provincial funding

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Yazdani, Tina
Publication Date: 
8 Mar 2024


With tens of thousands of families on waitlists, the demand for affordable child care has never been greater. However, child care centres in Ontario are warning they are at risk of closing with additional funding.

Advocates say the Ford government is hoarding taxpayer dollars that could be used to keep daycares open.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said every dollar committed for childcare is being spent on child care. “That’s part of the federal agreement, there’s no way around that,” said Lecce.


The Ontario government spent $146 million less than planned in child care programs this quarter, according to a new report from the province’s financial watchdog.

When asked about this underspending, Lecce said, “We’re moving some of those dollars year-over-year to where they’re needed, remember, we started low, like a hockey stick, we’re now scaling up.” 


The Ontario NDP are also calling on the government to approve local school board requests to expand the number of child care centres in schools. 

“The Ontario government refuses to accept that very practical proposal,” said Bell.

“The NDP is standing advocating for the province to use the slowest method to build childcare. In Toronto, in those school boards, they’ve been sitting on child care projects for upwards of seven to eight years. Some of them are 300 per cent over budget and not one of them has a shovel in the ground,” answered Lecce.