Provincial funding will help reduce child care fees and add licensed child care spaces
Waterloo Region – Thousands of families will see licensed child care fees go down now that a plan for new provincial funding has received Regional Council approval. The Region has an additional $13.5 million this year to make child care more affordable and to increase the number of licensed spaces. Almost $9.2 million comes from the Child Care Expansion Plan and the Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
“We know that child care can be costly and licensed spaces are limited in many areas,” said Regional Chair Ken Seiling. “This will help address the challenges that so many families experience.”
The funding will be spent on the following strategies:
• Over $2.1 million to help all licensed child care centres reduce parent fees by about five to 15 per cent, starting July 1. For centres who opt in to the program, parents will pay $10 less per day for infants, $3 less for toddlers and $2 less for preschoolers.
• Over $1.8 million for non-profit operators to lower expenses and keep fees from going up.
• Over $2.2 million to provide more families with financial help to pay for child care.
• $2.2 million to help non-profit operators to add spaces for 0-4 year olds.
• Over $2.4 million for non-profit operators who find innovative ways to increase access to child care in their programs.
• Over $900,000 to increase spaces and support for children with special needs.
“This investment is an immediate benefit to families and will benefit children in the future,” said Children’s Services Director Barb Cardow. “Quality child care has lifelong effects on a child’s social, intellectual, and emotional development.”