A $1.5-million investment to build three new child care rooms that will result in 49 new licensed child care spaces was announced by Premier Kathleen Wynne was at École élémentaire catholique Horizon-Jeunesse on Thursday.
The announcement builds on the commitment the government made in the recent Speech from the Throne. Starting in 2017, Ontario will help to create another 100,000 new, licensed child care spaces for infants, toddlers and preschoolers within the next five years, the government said in a statement.
Wynne said: “Every parent wants the best for their children. Adding more child care spaces across Ontario is an investment in every parent’s hopes and dreams, and in our children’s futures. We are taking steps to improve access to high-quality, licensed child care because it is government’s job to build for the future while helping people in their everyday lives.”
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Associate Minister of Education added: “We are pleased to deliver this historic commitment — a promise that will help meet the demands of a growing and changing province. By creating 100,000 new licensed child care spaces, we will ensure more working families have affordable, and accessible, quality child care. This commitment builds on our goal to give all children in this great province the best possible start in life.”
Approximately 20 per cent of 0-4-year olds in Ontario are currently in licensed child care. Research indicates that demand is much higher. Creating 100,000 new spaces will double capacity, creating spaces for about 40 per cent of children 0-4 years old. This investment will help people in their everyday lives by promoting early learning and development, and helping more parents find quality, affordable care.
- In April 2015, the province announced $120 million in new funding dedicated to building safe, high-quality, licensed child care spaces in schools across the province. So far, $113 million has been allocated, resulting in almost 3,800 new licensed child care spaces coming soon to communities across Ontario.
- Since 2003–04, the government has doubled child care funding to more than $1 billion annually, and the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown to nearly 351,000 — an increase of 87 per cent.
- Ontario’s ban on child care wait list fees took effect September 1, 2016. – CINEWS