TORONTO, March 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Hundreds of families across Ontario have e-mailed their MPP over the last four weeks, urging them to stand up for high-quality, licensed child care in Ontario. With the provincial government's continued focus on implementing full-day kindergarten, licensed, non-profit child care centres that serve Ontario's youngest children are facing imminent closure in communities across the province.
"Families in Ontario already face a daunting task when it comes to finding high-quality, affordable child care. With a 15-year funding freeze, and the removal of thousands of children from the child care system, families now face much more expensive - and fewer - child care options," said Paula Roy, parent champion for Child Care Matters to Me.
Child care funding in Ontario relies on an outdated funding model - provincial grants for licensed child care have been frozen for 15 years. Ontario needs an updated funding model for child care and to increase its investment in children of all ages - to give our kids the best start possible.
This September, half of Ontario's 4 and 5-year-olds will be in Full Day Kindergarten. Ontario's licensed, non-profit child care centres - which care for all age groups - will see fees paid by parents rise by 15 to 30% as a result, simply because it costs more to care for younger children. Child care already costs upwards of $15,000 per child, per year in Ontario. Without an immediate investment in child care, fees will rise by as much as 30% leaving families out in the cold.
"Without an immediate funding fix, licensed child care centres in every community across Ontario will close, leaving fewer child care spaces for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers - and leaving families with no options," said Michele Lupa, Executive Director, Mothercraft "Fewer licensed child care and home care spaces means longer waiting lists, up to 30% increase in fees, parents forced to give up their jobs and a threat to the success of and investment in full-day learning."
Families across Ontario have joined the Child Care Matters campaign, online at www.childcarematterstome.ca.
For further information:
Paula Roy, parent champion, Child Care Matters to Me at 905-906-0018
Michele Lupa, Child Care Matters to Me at 647-962-5630