Ontario municipal staff say $85.5M cut risks success of $10-a-day child-care program

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Published February 1, 2024 at 3:36 pm

The municipal staff who administer the child-care system across Ontario are telling Education Minister Stephen Lecce that an $85.5-million cut to their budgets puts the success of the $10-a-day program at risk.

The Ontario Municipal Social Services Association says in a letter to the minister that the national program, which Ontario signed onto in 2022, has meant a significant amount of additional work for municipal child-care administrators and now is not the time to cut their funding.

Ontario is the only province with a mandated role for municipalities in delivering child care and the system managers at municipalities have a central role in planning, funding and administering child-care services.

Their association says the $10-a-day program, which uses federal money to reduce fees for parents, has seen the municipal staff implement the new system that comes with more licensing, monitoring and regulatory work.

The Ontario government announced in 2019 that instead of the province funding the administration of the child-care system, it was requiring municipalities to pay 50 per cent of that cost.

The province has since provided $220 million in transitional funding over several years, but that is now ending, resulting in an $85.5 million cut to municipal budgets.

The Canadian Press

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