(NAL Note – Ontario’s Ford Government is Last Province in Country to Sign on to this Widely Popular, Historic Child Care Agreement with Feds)
“With the signing of today’s (March 28th, 2022) agreement, we’re making $10‑a‑day child care a reality for families across country. Today’s announcement will save Ontario families thousands of dollars each year. – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
A News Release from the Office of the Prime Minister of Canada
Posted March 28th, 2022 on Niagara At Large
The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and the Premier of Ontario, Doug Ford, today (March 28th) announced an agreement that will deliver affordable, inclusive, and high-quality child care for families in Ontario.
This Canada-Ontario early learning and child care agreement is a five-year deal to reduce child care fees in the short term, deliver $10-a-day child care for Ontario families, and create 86,000 new licensed early learning and child care spaces in the province.
The agreement will reduce licensed child care fees for children under six years old on average by 25 per cent as of April 1, 2022, saving Ontario families an average of about $2,200 per child. By the end of the year, fees will be further lowered, and families will see a total reduction of 50 per cent on average, saving them an average of about $6,000 per child per year. This agreement will deliver on average $10-a-day child care for Ontario families by the end of March 2026.
With the signing of this agreement, the Government of Canada has signed agreements with every province and territory to deliver on its promise to build a Canada-wide affordable, inclusive, and high-quality early learning and child care system.
Our plan is already making life more affordable for families, creating new jobs, getting parents back into the workforce, and growing the middle class while giving every child a real and fair chance at success. More than half of Canada’s provinces and territories have already seen reductions in child care fees and, by the end of 2022, average fees for regulated early learning and child care spaces will be cut in half across the country.
This agreement will improve access to early learning and child care programs and services and grow a strong and skilled workforce of early childhood educators, including through better wages and greater opportunities for professional development. It will also support a child care system that is inclusive of vulnerable children and children from diverse populations, including children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports.
In addition, the agreement includes a clear commitment to begin discussions with Indigenous partners on developing a collaborative plan that supports Indigenous children’s access to affordable, high-quality, and culturally appropriate early learning and child care.
Building a child care system that works for Canadians in every region of the country is a key part of our plan to make life more affordable for families while creating good jobs and growing the economy. Through these signed agreements, the Government of Canada aims to create 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026 to give families affordable child care options, no matter where they live.
“With the signing of today’s agreement, we’re making $10‑a‑day child care a reality for families across country. Today’s announcement will save Ontario families thousands of dollars each year – with fee reductions starting as of Friday this week – while creating jobs, growing the middle class, and giving our kids the best start in life.” – Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
“I’m so proud of the work we’ve done with our federal partners to land an agreement that will lower costs for families across the province. Given how complex Ontario’s child care system is, we wanted to get this right. Today, we’re delivering a deal that will keep money in the pockets of hard-working parents.” – Doug Ford, Premier of Ontario
“A year ago, our government made a commitment to Canadians: to deliver affordable high-quality early learning and child care for young families across the country. Now that agreements have been reached with all provinces and territories, a cause championed by generations of forward-thinking Canadians is about to become reality. I am so pleased that today’s agreement delivers our promise to Canadians to make life more affordable for young families, create jobs, increase women’s participation in the workforce and give every child the best possible start in life – no matter where they live.”– Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
- Since last summer, the Government of Canada reached similar agreements with the governments of British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Yukon, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, New Brunswick, the Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. The governments of Canada and Quebec also reached an asymmetric agreement to strengthen the early learning and child care system in the province.
- In total, the Government of Canada is aiming to create approximately 250,000 new child care spaces through Canada-wide agreements with provinces and territories, and already achieved its goal of creating 40,000 more affordable child care spaces before 2020 through the 2017-18 and 2019-20 Early Learning and Child Care Agreements. These new spaces will be predominantly among licensed not-for-profit, public, and family-based child care providers.
- Through this agreement, Ontario will receive $10.2 billion in federal funding through 2025-26 and an additional $2.9 billion in 2026-27, as part of the annual and ongoing $9.2 billion federal commitment from Budget 2021 for a total of $13.2 billion, to underscore the long-term commitment to building a better early learning and child care system, subject to the renewal of the agreement.
- In addition to the federal contribution, Ontario will provide $267 million under this new agreement in addition to the over $2 billion the province currently invests in early learning and child care annually.
- The governments of Canada and Ontario will create an implementation committee that will monitor progress on child care commitments in consultation with stakeholders. The Government of Canada will be represented on this committee by the Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care.
- As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of over $27 billion over five years to build the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
- Investments in child care will benefit everyone across Canada. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.
Andrea Horwath’s Ontario NDP responds to federal child care funding
March 28, 2022
TORONTO — NDP Leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement in response to the announcement of federal funding for child care in Ontario:
“While this is welcome news for parents who need relief from the sky-high cost of child care, by holding out for an extra nine months, Doug Ford didn’t get a better deal, he just robbed Ontario’s parents of nine months of lower prices. They’d have about $2,300 more in their bank accounts right now if it weren’t for Ford’s bad choices — and he should rebate that money directly to parents now.
With child care fees that can be the size of mortgage payments, parents tell me they’re racking up credit card bills and losing sleep over how to stay afloat. They’ve waited too long for relief.
In 2019, Doug Ford cut $80 million from licensed child care across the province. Thousands of child care spaces were lost as a result of Ford’s cuts. With this federal funding, and with long-term support assured thanks to a confidence and supply agreement between federal NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, we can finally start to fix what’s broken, and move towards the universal, affordable child care system families deserve.
If elected premier in June my commitment to Ontarians is to work with the Trudeau government to get child care down to $10-per-day as soon as possible, expand the number of high-quality, public and non-profit child care spaces, and make sure child care jobs actually pay the bills.”
A Statement By Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca On Federal Child Care Funding
March 28, 2022
QUEEN’S PARK – Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, issued the following statement:
“I would like to start by congratulating the federal Liberals. A national child care plan, funded by the federal government and implemented in every province and territory, will change lives. It is historic, and they have every reason to be proud.
I will also say that I am disappointed that Premier Ford, who, knowing how difficult a time young families are having making ends meet, knowing that federal child care money was on offer that could change their lives, deliberately chose to make them wait, and wait, and wait for help.
The thing is, the only time child care has been a priority for Doug Ford was when he cut it in his first two years in power.
Remember this headline – it’s from the Toronto Star – May 2, 2019: Doug Ford’s cuts put over 6,000 subsidized daycare spaces at risk, Toronto warns
Ontario is cutting a total of $80 million from licensed child care across the province, including the $50-million fund to help offset costs for licensed child-care providers
Today, Doug Ford brags about a financial agreement he could and should have gotten 6 months ago. His failure has cost families thousands. And while every other province got agreements early, many still opted to make their payments retroactive to the beginning of this year, because they knew it was needed.
Ontario was last to sign and Ontario parents will be the last to benefit from the federal funding.
Ontario Liberals are the only ones pledging that if we form government, we will make sure Ontario families do not pay the price for Doug Ford’s delays. We are the only ones who will make payments retroactive to January 1st – an average of $2,750 per child – and the only party pledging $10 per day for before and after school care by this September.
I don’t trust Doug Ford to implement this agreement. I say that not out of partisanship, but based on both his past cuts, and his negotiating priorities.
From Day 1, Doug Ford has wanted as few strings attached to this federal funding as possible. Ask yourself why and who that benefits. Again, just yesterday they were bragging about how they reduced some of those funding requirements.
We all saw Doug Ford try to profit off federal COVID funds. Let’s not let him do the same with child care.”
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