Excerpted from child care section
Save parents $10,000 a year per child through $10-a-day child care
Ontario Liberals will:
• Implement universal $10 a day for licensed child care
• Make child care discounts retroactive, giving parents $2,750 per child
• Deliver $10 a day before and after school care by September
• Create 30,000 new jobs for early childhood educators (ECEs) and other child care staff
• Enhance pay and benefits for ECEs
• Provide free tuition for all ECE programs at Ontario’s colleges
Parents and caregivers have stepped up during an incredibly hard two years, juggling obligations to both work and family. For some working parents, especially women, the strain has pushed them out of the workforce. Our federal partners put billions on the table to make child care better and more affordable in Ontario – but the Ford Conservatives stalled for months refusing to help families benefit from this once-in-a-generation opportunity. We’ll make sure Ontario gets the job done, reducing average fees for licensed child care to $10 a day from over $50 dollars a day – saving parents about $10,000 per child a year.
So parents aren’t punished for the Ford Conservatives’ failure to act, we’ll make child care discounts retroactive to January 1, 2022 – giving families back an average of $2,750 per child. We’ll also move quickly to reduce fees for before and after-school care by over half to $10 a day by September 2022.
Parents in Ontario can linger on wait lists for years to access child care – in large part because of a lack of qualified staff to welcome more kids. We’ll create 30,000 new jobs for early childhood educators and other child care staff to build capacity in workplaces, schools and community spaces where they’re needed most – giving these workers better pay and benefits and bringing in a compensation grid in line with full-day kindergarten. As well, we’ll ensure ECEs are well-equipped to help kids flourish, providing free tuition for all ECE programs at Ontario’s colleges and improving recruitment, retention and professional development opportunities for lifelong learning.
Enhance parental leave and build flexible, tailored child care options
Ontario Liberals will:
• Enhance parental leave for parents who want to stay home longer
• Provide flexible and inclusive childcare options
We’ve heard from new parents who want to stay home with their kids longer. We’ll give these parents more economic stability and valuable time with their growing families by topping-up the 18-month parental leave so they can stay home longer without their EI benefits being reduced – and we’ll work with the federal government to fill gaps for new parents who don’t qualify for EI.
When parents do go back to work, they need more than a one-size-fits-all child care plan. We’ll expand not-for-profit child care and provide child care for parents working shifts and non-traditional hours. For families choosing caregivers outside of licensed child care, we’ll bolster the CARE tax credit by 50% to an average of $2,000, provided in regular advance payments. And we’ll work to ensure parents have flexible and inclusive care options, including licensed home care, First Nations-led child care and child care for diverse families and for kids with special needs.