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Simcoe County wait list for child-care subsidy cleared due to new provincial funding

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Author: 
MacDonald, Shane
Publication Date: 
26 Sep 2017
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Representatives from the County of Simcoe are very happy to say a lengthy wait list for child-care subsidies has been cleared thanks to increased funding from the province.

The county offers a subsidy program that supports families with kids who need care, but those looking to access the program have had to face a wait list in the past.

The program sees the county purchase child-care services from licensed care centres in the area. Parents who meet certain qualifications can access spaces for their children.

"The most recent wait list (for the subsidy) had actually been in place since June of 2016," explained Jan Janssen, director of children and community services for the County of Simcoe.

This June the county received a welcome bit of news. The province increased its contribution to child care in the county by $5.1 million, bringing the total spending for 2017 to about $39.7 million, including both provincial and municipal contributions. The county's contribution is about $4 million.

"This new funding has allowed us to remove approximately 1,700 children from our wait list," Simcoe County Warden Gerry Marshall wrote in one of his weekly emails about the increased funding. "This money will assist parents with low incomes in need of child care by allowing them to work or attend school."

Janssen said the county expects the increased funding will allow them to deliver child-care service through to 2018.

In 2016, the county was able to serve 3,800 children, or 2,500 families, through the subsidy program, Janssen said.

The county can also use the funding to purchase more child-care spaces as needed.

"At any one time, we have about 9,000 spaces in the local licensed child-care system," Janssen said, noting demand for spaces varies throughout the county.

In addition to allowing parents to pursue their education or careers, Janssen said the program gives children access to a quality learning environment during their early development, which has proven benefits later on in life.

In order to access the county subsidy, parents or guardians must meet several qualifications. Visit www.simcoe.ca/ChildrenandCommunityServices/Pages/fee-assistance.aspx for more information.

-reprinted from Simcoe.com

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Entered Date: 
27 Sep 2017
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