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Ontario NDP election platform: They broke it, we’ll fix it.

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Publication Date: 
25 Apr 2022

Excerpted from child care section

Affordable Child Care

Families in Ontario are draining their bank accounts to pay for child care. With fees so high, some are putting off starting or growing their family, and for many parents, particularly women, it is cheaper to stay at home than return to work.

Liberal and Conservative governments have allowed child care fees in Ontario to skyrocket to mortgagelevel costs. For months, Doug Ford sat back as Ontario families paid crushing fees while every other province and territory signed a $10-a-day child care deal with the federal government

New Democrats have always known the vital role that child care plays in our economy, in women’s equality, and in our children’s future success. That’s why we had a $12-a-day plan in 2018, and it’s why we will work with the federal government to achieve $10-a-day faster. 

Andrea Horwath and the NDP team also understand that reducing fees alone isn’t enough – families need to actually have a space for their child. That’s why we need a workforce strategy to retain and recruit Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) and child care workers, one that pays them fairly. And we need to build enough child care spaces for every family who needs them. Without an investment in our child care workers and infrastructure, families are destined to languish on long waitlists for a child care space.

Commitment: Get to $10-a-day, faster: We will explore ways to work with the federal government to speed up the implementation of $10-a-day child care.

Commitment: Wages: We will immediately increase the standard wage for child care workers to $25 per hour for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs), and $20 per hour for all other program staff.

Commitment: Workforce Strategy: We will work with the child care sector to bring in a Workforce Strategy to make jobs in child care good careers. This will involve developing and implementing a wage grid and decent work standards, including benefits and a pension, daily on-site paid planning, paid professional development, and a strategy to help child care workers upgrade their qualifications.

Commitment: Accessible, high-quality, comprehensive child care: We will ensure that all children, whether they have a disability, are racialized, or are a member of a northern, rural, or Indigenous community, are provided with high-quality inclusive child care options that fit their circumstances.   

Commitment: Licensed Home Child Care: We will begin to build a community-driven model of child care across the province, connecting and supporting licensed child care centres, licensed home child care, and Early ON centres. We will provide stable base funding for licensed home child care providers and offer them the option of contributing to a pension and a benefits plan. We will also provide stable base funding for licensed home child care agencies so they can offer more support and training.

Commitment: Non-profit and public expansion: We will work with the federal government to build sufficient regulated child care services needed to accommodate families’ needs in all Ontario communities. We will put in place a province-wide strategy to guarantee expansion of public and non-profit child care – and ensure that any government-funded expansion will exclusively be public or non-profit.

Commitment: Before and after school child care: We will immediately begin to reduce fees for before and after school child care.