$10 daycare: soon a new funding formula in Ontario

$10 daycare: soon a new funding formula in Ontario
$10 daycare: soon a new funding formula in Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Education will implement a new funding model for the federal $10-a-day child care program by January 2025. Daycare owners will know the details of the new formula soon.

Early childhood centers, including the YMCA – the province’s largest manager in this area – have warned the government that they risk having to close if the funding formula does not change soon.

The current formula, they say, only replaces revenue lost due to reduced child care costs. Daycares that join the program must reduce their fees each year so that they reach a daily average of $10 by 2026.

When the program came into effect, Toronto parents were paying the highest child care costs in the country. The average monthly fee in Toronto was $1,578, compared to $181 in Montreal.

After several delays, the Ontario government informed daycare owners last week that the structure would be in place next year. Our priority is to provide certainty to operatorssaid the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce.

Funding that does not meet needs

Usually, childcare centers increase their fees when their expenses increase. On the other hand, daycares that participate in the federal program had to freeze their fees in March 2022. Others had already frozen them in 2020 to help parents during the pandemic.

So these owners say the funding model that will replace lost income is based on child care fees that don’t reflect their current costs, which are rising due to inflation.

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Some child care managers in Ontario say the funding isn’t enough.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Pascal Raiche-Nogue

In Ontario, the funds obtained from the federal government are sent to service managers, for example the children’s services division of the City of Toronto, who then send them to daycare managers.

The financial coordinator of the daycare Campus Community Co-Operative Day Careat the University of Toronto, hopes the new funding formula will cover all costs associated with running a daycare.

The formula must be stable and reliable each year to allow managers to plan their programs and budgetsshe says.

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