Today’s Ontario Throne Speech commits the government to 100,000 new child care spaces for 0-4 year olds. This would double the current number, bringing Ontario’s coverage to 40 per cent of children. Unfortunately, the announcement did not address the problem of affordability. The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care is urging that new funding be dedicated to the public and non-profit sectors to ensure quality care and decent work for educators. The Coalition is also calling on the Ontario government to work with the federal government to develop a universal high quality child care system for Canada.
“Today’s announcement is very good news for Ontario’s families. The Throne Speech made child care the first priority. Together with the recent appointment of an Associate Minister of Education for Early Years and Child Care, we hope this indicates a renewed focus on early learning and care by the Ontario government.” said Carolyn Ferns, OCBCC’s Public Policy Coordinator.
“At the same time, we know that there is more policy work to be done. While today’s commitment is substantial, to make the most of it there needs to be a plan to address affordability for parents and decent work for educators. Today’s announcement doesn’t address affordability directly.” said Ferns.
The OCBCC’s current petition to the Ontario legislature calls for the Ontario government to “undertake a transparent policy process with the clear goal of developing a universal early childhood education and child care system where all families can access quality child care programs; and to publicly declare their commitment to take leadership in developing a national child care plan with the federal government that adopts the principles of universality, high quality and comprehensiveness”.
The OCBCC also cautions that new funding for expansion should be dedicated to the public and non-profit sectors to help ensure accountability, quality and decent work for educators.
For OCBCC’s full release, click here.