Ontario Making Child Care More Accessible and Affordable for Families
New Investment Will Help 100,000 More Children Access Licensed Child Care
Ontario is helping children and families access affordable, quality child care with a historic new investment to help 100,000 more children access licensed child care across the province.
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care, joined by Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, made the announcement today at Life-Bridge Child Care in Toronto.
Ontario is investing $1.6 billion to build 45,000 new licensed child care spaces, focusing on schools in 2017, and expanding to other public spaces and communities across Ontario over the next five years. School boards across the province are invited to submit their proposals for child care projects in their communities with approved projects to be announced in the coming months.
The province also released its Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework and Expansion Plan. This blueprint for transforming child care in Ontario will guide the province's historic commitment to help 100,000 more children aged 0-4 access quality licensed child care over the next five years.
As part of the framework, the province will launch an expert-led Affordability Strategy which will help identify options to further reduce child care costs for all parents and families, and review the current funding approach to child care.
The framework outlines a bold seven-point plan for how the province will transform its early years and child care system, which includes increasing access to early years and child care programs and services, ensuring affordability for parents and families, and establishing a workforce strategy to support Ontario's world-class early years and child care professionals.
Making licensed child care more affordable and more accessible for families is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.
- Ontario will help 100,000 more children aged 0-4 access affordable, quality, and responsive licensed child care in schools, homes, and communities over the next five years.
- The renewed framework also includes: creating a provincial definition of quality in the early years; developing an approach to promoting inclusion in early years and child care settings; creating an outcomes and measurement strategy to track progress; and increasing public awareness of Ontario’s early years and child care system.
- Since 2013, child care funding has increased by 49 per cent per cent to more than $1.37 billion annually.
- Since 2012-13, the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to 389,286 – an increase of 32 per cent.
- Through full-day kindergarten, families are saving up to $6,500 per child per year in child care costs. With more than $1.5 billion in funding every year, the program is one of the most significant education investments Ontario has made in a generation.
- As of September 1, 2016, Ontario banned child care providers from charging parents a fee to be placed on a waiting list.
“Ontario is transforming its early years and child care system, to give children the best possible start in life. This renewed framework lays the foundation for the long-term success of our children and our province. This significant investment in new capital funding will help an additional 45,000 children find a space in licensed child care. All of this will make life easier for Ontario families.”
“The future of Ontario depends on the well-being of our children. This renewed framework will improve how families access affordable, high quality child care programs and it reinforces a full continuum of learning so children can have the best start and reach their full potential.”