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50 percent cut in child care costs in centres enrolled in federal-Ontario program

Ontario parents requiring childcare are getting a break. At a joint-federal-Ontario news conference Minister of Finance, Chrystia Freeland, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, and Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, announced that, effective December 31, 2022, fees for families with children under the age of 6 at licensed child care operators in Ontario that have enrolled in the Canada-wide early learning and child care system will be reduced by an average of 50% across the province, compared to 2020 levels.

The deal flows from a six-year, $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government which will lower fees for families and promises to  deliver an average of $10 a day child care by September 2025.

Additionally, Ontario is working towards creating 86,000 new licensed child care spaces by the end of 2026, which will includes 55,000 additional spaces the province announced today.

Said Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education. “Our government is making child care affordable — with savings averaging between $6,000 to $10,000 per child by the end of this year — and investing in new spaces that will benefit parents for years to come.”

To ensure child care spaces are also created in locations and for populations most in need — including for children with special needs, Indigenous and Franco-Ontarian communities — Ontario is launching a $213 million grant program for new and existing operators. These one-time grants, prioritizing regions with historically low rates of space availability, will help child care operators offset the initial costs of expanding or creating spaces, such as purchasing equipment or renovating facilities.

To date, 92 per cent of Ontario’s licensed child care sites have enrolled in the CWELCC system. Families across the province with children in these centres are already seeing fee reductions of up to 25 per cent, retroactive to April 1, 2022. By the end of this year, families with children under the age of six in participating licensed child care programs will see a further fee reduction of up to 50 per cent relative to 2020 levels.

Said Karina Gould, “the fee reduction announced today for centres as part of the Canada-wide system is a key step toward our ultimate goal for an average of $10-a-day regulated child care. We will continue to work with the provinces and territories toward a better future for children, and families, everywhere in Canada.”

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