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A child care policy for the people? Probably not.

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MacDonald, D.
Publication Date: 
10 Apr 2019


The Ontario Conservatives’ first budget is being delivered on Thursday. Normally this is the first opportunity for the public to compare the government’s plan with any promises the governing party made trying to get elected. In this case, since there was no Conservative campaign platform, and the Ford government has coasted along without outlining exactly what programs they’ll fund and which they’ll cut, Thursday is likely to hold a few surprises.

On the child care front, it appears that some sort of tax credit, similar to the Brown proposal, is set to drop. Since we don’t yet know the details of this new plan, I’ll stick with the Brown plan and provide updates after budget day. Briefly, the Brown plan would refund a family, at most, $6,750 of fees paid in a year—if you spent over $9,000 that year on child care but earned $35,000 or less a year. Parents who make more get less back, again at least under the Brown plan.

Now, I’m a spreadsheet guy and this was confusing to me. The following assessment of the Brown plan therefore uses what parents actually paid out of pocket for child care last year, after tax credits, based on real fees in 2018. This will avoid any fairy tale values pulled out of thin air. The result: parents, even those with low incomes, don’t do all that well under Brown plan for Conservative child care policy, which may or may not be what we see in the budget.

Entered Date: 
10 Apr 2019
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