Cuts force Peel to cancel child-care fee reduction initiative

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Peel Region funding cuts are forcing the closure of the child-care fee reduction initiative, a program aimed at making child care more affordable for families.

The program which began in 2018, is slated to end on April 30.

According to reports, licensed child-care allocations from the province have been slashed by just over $48.7 million for 2020, compared to 2019.

For the last two years, Peel’s program had allowed families with children aged four and younger to access a $12-a-day reduction for full-day daycare, and a $6-a-day reduction for part-day daycare.

In a statement, Ministry of Education spokesperson Ingrid Anderson said the province is “committed to building childcare spaces in Peel,” and is “investing $390 million for the Ontario child care tax credit; a key component of our plan to make child care more affordable and accessible for families across Ontario.

“This tax credit will provide about 300,000 families with up to 75 per cent of their eligible child care expenses,” Anderson said. “The Regional Municipality of Peel is responsible for planning, managing and coordinating child care within its community.”

According to the province’s 2020 child-care funding allocations, Peel region’s funding was cut by just over $4.2 million for this year.

According to provincial documents, Toronto’s funding was slashed by just over $5.5 million for this year, which is down from a reported $15-million reduction that was later walked back.

York region has a similar child-care fee reduction program to what was cut in Peel, Bryce said, but they managed to keep it afloat using existing funds in the municipal budget. -CINEWS

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