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City needs made-in-Toronto child care strategy, Janet Davis says

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Kurek, Dominik
Publication Date: 
24 Mar 2017



Ottawa’s announced child care funding in the 2017 budget — though not enough to fix Toronto’s daycare crisis — creates an opportunity that the city must seize, Beaches-East York Coun. Janet Davis said.

“We have to be there now and seize the opportunity,” the vocal advocate for child care said.

“Right now, we are experiencing a crisis that needs to be addressed because of the shortage of spaces and the high cost of these services. We need action now. Toronto families need action now.”

This year’s federal budget allocates $500 million toward a national child care program that works with the provinces and territories to address affordability, accessibility, inclusivity and flexibility.

The funding is set to rise slowly year over year until it starts ramping up faster by 2022 or 2023, and reaching $870 million per year by 2026 or 2027.

Jane Mercer of the Toronto Coalition for Child Care calls the Liberal government’s budget good news, but the money could be coming faster.

“It’s not coming quite as fast as we’d like, because parents are desperately waiting for child care in Toronto and more affordable child care,” she said.

She hopes Ottawa and the province can start flowing significant money to the city to create child care spaces and subsidies.

By Coun. Davis’ calculation, by the 10th year of the federal funding, Toronto could see about $65 million per year of the $870 million announced, which could create 6,500 spaces.

Federal funding alone won’t be enough to fix the problem, Davis said. In Toronto, more than 18,000 children are waiting on a subsidy and there is a shortage of licensed child care spaces.

Davis calls on the province and the city to join Ottawa at the table to both plan and fund a “made-in-Toronto” strategy that is sustained for expanding child care. She said capital money, operating money and subsidies are needed to create a system that serves all families.

“Child care is critical to the healthy development of young children and the financial well-being of families, and the economic vitality of this city.”

Toronto’s Community Development and Recreation Committee will consider a city staff report on growing child care at its April 13 meeting.

-reprinted from Inside Toronto 

Entered Date: 
28 Mar 2017
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