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Request to federal and provincial governments to preserve the national child care program – Protect high quality accessible child care in Toronto

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Toronto City Council Motion
Davis, Janet
government document
Publication Date: 
14 Feb 2006

The following motion was tabled by Councilor Janet Davis and seconded by Mayor David Miller. This motion was adopted by Toronto City Council on February 14, 2006 by a vote of 33 to 2.

Text of the motion:

"WHEREAS Toronto City Council endorsed the following six-point action plan for building a national Early Learning and Care program at its meeting on November 30, December 1 and 2, 2004:

(i) moving from the current user pay and subsidy system to publicly funded programs, as in Quebec and other OECD countries;

(ii) introducing standards that guarantee quality, universally accessible, developmental, inclusive programming like the Canada Health Act, the principles of child care needs to be enshrined in legislation;

(iii) maintaining existing federal commitments (Canada Social Transfer, Early Childhood Development Initiative and Multilateral Framework Agreement funding);

(iv) dedicating a separate adequate designated funding stream for a new, long-term federal transfer to provinces and territories;

(v) agreeing that all expansion takes place through public and/or not for profit delivery; existing for-profit programs may be grand-parented; and

(vi) including provincial and territorial accountability, tied to five-year plans that include goals and objectives, timelines and targets, review and evaluation as they build new Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) systems; and

WHEREAS the City of Toronto received $46 million for Child Care in 2005 and will receive $80 million in 2006 from the federal Early Learning and Child Care funding, which will add 2275 new child care spaces in Toronto; and

WHEREAS under the existing federal program, the City of Toronto would have received an additional $236 million over the life of the five-year program and added a total of 5,855 licensed and subsidized child care spaces in the City of Toronto; and

WHEREAS the cancellation of the federal Early Learning and Child Care program by the new Conservative government puts the City of Toronto's child care system and those new spaces in jeopardy; and

WHEREAS the lost funding will leave many children in the City of Toronto without quality accessible child care; and

WHEREAS the Conservative Government's proposed child care income support for families is a valid policy goal but is not a substitute for public investment in high quality early learning and child care programs; and

WHEREAS less than $100.00 a month, after taxes, comes nowhere close to covering the cost of high quality child care, and tax credits for employers will not create sustainable, equitable child care programs; and

WHEREAS without a national child care program, there will be no choice in child care for parents;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT Mayor Miller, on behalf of Council and the residents of the City of Toronto, work with the federal and provincial governments to preserve the national child care program and the Ontario federal-provincial child care agreement;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the City of Toronto work with families, child care programs, and child care advocacy groups to ensure that the federal government fulfils its five-year funding commitment to build a national early learning and child care system in Toronto and Canada;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT this motion be circulated to the other municipalities in Ontario.