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Region to hike child care costs as province ends fee-reduction pilot program

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Author: 
Rebiszewski, Aneta
Publication Date: 
7 Nov 2019
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The end of provincial funding for a fee-reduction pilot program means the Region of Waterloo will be increasing fees at its child care cntres at year's end. It total, some 90 operations are expected raise fees when funding runs out as of December 31.

The region directly operates five child care centres, including the Elmira Children's Centre at Riverside Public School.

Parents will see the infant daily rate rise to $74.70 from $64.70. Along with that, there will be a $3 increase in the toddler rate making it $50.90 per day and the preschool rate will go up by $2 to $47.20 per day. 

In the absence of the provincial funding, the region made the decision to raise rates commensurately, citing already pressing budget issues.

"We have made a decision to discontinue the fee-reduction pilot to allow us to focus our funding into our expanded system because there are many new spaces in our system that need funding just to support the general operations of child care," said children's services director Barb Cardow.

The pilot was launched in July 2018 to help arents with affordability in child care services, with the region receiving a significant increase in fudning during that time. The goal was to help increase child care spaces and accessibility of child care to meet parents' needs, said Cardow, noting affordability is the one area that many parents say is their biggest challenge.

Since this was always known to be a pilot program there was no guarantee for continued support and funding, added Cardow, who has communicated that reality to those using the services.

"The impacts will be felt most greatly by the parents of infant children because their fees were reduced by the most," she said of the fee-reduction efforts.

To combat the increase of fees, the region will continue the fee reduction pilot for any infants that were enrolled in a centre prior to September 1 until the child transitions into a toddler classroom.

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Entered Date: 
13 Nov 2019
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