Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care Applauds NDP for Commitment to Child Care Funding

TORONTO, Sept. 2, 2011 /CNW/ - The Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care commends the Ontario New Democrats for their announcement today committing to $250 million dollars in new funding to stabilize the child care sector. This new direct operating grant to child care programs will be a step forward in sustaining our child care programs and making high quality child care in Ontario more affordable.

Today, 4 out of 5 Ontario children do not have access to a licensed child care space. Early learning and child care is too expensive and many child care centres are facing a funding crisis, which will lead to higher child care fees and centre closures.  Child care fees have reached the breaking point of what most families can afford, and long waiting lists for subsidies mean that many parents are unable to work.

Early learning and child care programs have been historically underfunded. In addition, impacts from Ontario's full-day kindergarten program will further destabilize child care programs.

"We have already begun to see the impacts of this underfunding, where high quality programs such as Bond Child and Family Development will be forced to close their doors after providing exceptional education and care to the children of their communities for decades" said President Tracy Saarikoski.

"The funding proposed by the New Democrats will help child care centres stay open, ensure high quality care, and minimize fee increases for parents. This new funding will make a real difference to child care programs and will benefit every community across the province."

Child care advocates have been warning of a wave of closures of much-needed programs as a result of chronic underfunding. The Executive Director of Bond Child and Family Development spoke to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs on February 3, 2010 to warn the government that without new funding, the Bond Child and Family Development Centre was at risk of closure. Despite this warning, no funding has been allocated to address this crisis.

Child care advocates will be watching for funding commitment from all parties to sustain our child care programs and make child care more affordable.  Ontario needs child care: we can't afford to lose it.

SOURCE Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

For further information:

Andrea Calver, Coordinator, cell 416-434-8031
Tracy Saarikoski, President, 705-693-5282
Katie Arnup, Campaigns Coordinator 416-538-0628 x 2

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Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care

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