Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care holds 'Day of Action' to protest cuts
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, May 22, 2019 9:06AM EDT
The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is holding a “Day of Action” on Wednesday to protest cuts to child-care funding in the province.
Ontario municipalities will receive at least 80 million less in child-care funding from the provincial government this year and members of the coalition say that when calculating changes to cost-sharing agreements, that number could jump substantially.
The group has launched a petition calling on the province to halt the cuts.
Speaking outside Willowridge Early Learning Centre, a child-care facility located in Premier Doug Ford’s North Etobicoke riding, Coun. Mike Layton said it is important for parents to understand the full magnitude of the cuts.
The University-Rosedale councillor said the cuts mean that in Ford’s riding alone, 450 subsidized child-care spots could be lost.
“The message we are trying to get across is that this 80-million cut is targeting the low-income families the most. When we look at the distribution of these fee subsidies for low-income families so they can send their kids to child care… it actually hurts Doug Ford’s riding the most,” he said Wednesday morning.
“There is a wait list for 750 families who qualify that are waiting for that subsidy. We are going to have to tell most of those families, don’t bother waiting because it is never going to come. That is targeting the single-parent families. It’s targeting the families that need it the most.”
Layton noted that the cuts will also impact full-fee paying parents, who will see a 4.7 per cent increase on average to their child-care bill.
“With the cost of child care, you are looking at 2,000 for an infant, 1500 thereabouts for a toddler. Not all families can just absorb that cost. Most can’t,” he said.
“When you are taking away a subsidy that people rely on as a lifeline so that they can go back, re-enter the workforce, and continue to pay their taxes to bring in money to pay rent, you are really taking a shot at a lot of families that are just struggling to get by.”
Education Minister Lisa Thompson has previously said that municipalities must find “efficiencies” and re-evaluate how they are administering child-care programs.
-With files from The Canadian Press