Big Change Ahead for Mississauga Families

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It's no secret that childcare can be a hardship, especially for working families.

Now, not long after the province promised it would provide free care for preschool children, the province has announced that it's creating 3,100 new childcare spaces for families across Ontario.

This is part of the province's announcement that it will help accommodate families taking advantage of the free preschool childcare for children aged 2.5, until they are old enough for kindergarten starting in 2020.

Premier Kathleen Wynne recently announced that starting in May, new funding will be available for new licensed childcare spaces in places like community centres, places of worship and Indigenous friendship centres.

Here in Mississauga, the province will be renovating Cooksville - Caring for Kids with 98 new childcare spaces, Little Angels 1 with 15 new spaces, and Little Angels 2 with 25 new spaces. The province is also funding a new addition to the Salvation Army - Erin Mills Day Care Centre with 10 new childcare spaces.

"I hear from parents across the province who are worried about finding good, safe and affordable child care," said Wynne in a recent statement.

"They expect their government’s help and I agree. It’s why we are building child care spaces in a way that is fair and thoughtful. We understand that when it comes to child care, affordability and access have to go hand-in-hand. There are so many public spaces across Ontario that we can use to help relieve parents’ stress about finding the right care for their child. Renovating rooms and building additions at places of worship, or community and Indigenous friendship centres will give parents more choice when it comes to child care, so they can return to work when they choose and know their child will be safe and well cared for."

According to the province, it's investing $78.6 million this year to support 3,144 licensed child care spaces. Funding starts in May 2018 and all of the spaces will be open by December 2020 at the latest.

"The funding announced today is part of Ontario’s commitment to invest $1.6 billion in capital funding to support the creation of 45,000 new spaces in schools, other public sector spaces and community locations over the next five years," reads a recent statement from the province.

"This investment also includes more than $930 million to make licensed child care free for kids from the age of 2.5 until they are eligible for kindergarten, starting in September 2020, and about $1 billion over three years to support reduced fees and more subsidized spaces for infants and toddlers."

The investment totals a historic $1.9 billion in early years and child care, an increase of 82 per cent since 2014 according to the province.

"This investment builds vital child care spaces right where parents and caregivers need them," said Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care.

"By making it easier for Ontario families to access licensed child care spots in community centres and other public spaces in their neighbourhoods, we are giving families more options and support. With more child care spaces, more fee subsidies and access to free child care for preschoolers, we are ensuring that children across our province get the best possible start in life."

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