There will be 4,000 more day care spaces in Ontario over the next three years, according to a press release from Ontario’s Ministry of Education. Register file photo

Ontario daycares receives a $120 million boost

By 
  • April 29, 2015

Good news for parents with young children in Ontario — the Ministry of Education plans to spend $120 million to increase day care spaces in the province.

Liz Sandals, minster of education, made the announcement on April 29 at St. Andrew Catholic School in Toronto's west end.

The government intends to create about 4,000 “safe, high quality, licensed child care spaces in schools across the province” over the next three years, according to a press release.

“Our government is proud to invest in families by supporting a modernized child care and early years system with more capacity to care for our youngest leaders,” said Sandals. “Adding approximately 4,000 child care spaces in local schools is an important step toward building Ontario up.”

The province currently has more than 317,850 day care spaces, a 70 per cent increase since 2003. During this time government funding for child care has doubled to more than $1 billion annually. The provincial government's projected budget deficit for 2014-15 is $10.9 billion, raising the overall debt to about $284 billion.

Although all school boards in the province are welcomed to apply for this new funding, the ministry said dollars will be distributed “where there is significant demand.”

Additional daycare provides an opportunity to bring more kids into Ontario's schools, but it will not be a factor in increasing a school's student-based funding. Children in the day care programs will be regarded as guests and not actual students of that school.

Still, John Yan, a spokesperson for the Toronto Catholic school board, applauded the announcement.

“This is good news for our parents,” he said, however  “we will await the specific funding details from the Ministry (before applying).”

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