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Ontario receiving funding for child care spaces

By CJ Goater May 16, 2024 | 3:25 PM

MP Patty Hadju at new child care spaces announcement - (CJ Goater/Acadia Broadcasting)

The federal government has announced a $201.87 million in funding to create more child care spaces in Ontario.

This investment is part of the previously announced $625 million Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund and will help Ontario move towards its goal of creating 86,000 new child care spaces by 2026.

The federal government hopes that it will mean more spaces in rural and remote regions, high-cost and low-income urban neighbourhoods, and communities that face barriers to access.

Moving forward the federal government plans to reach a deal with all provincial and territorial partners to achieve similar funding agreements.

“We’ve been working with provinces and territories to reduce the cost of childcare, aiming to get to $10 a day childcare and in some cases, families have seen reductions by 50 per cent, 60 per cent, 70 per cent, but one of the big barriers still is the number of spots that are available, and so this money will go towards helping the province create those spots, hopefully right here in Thunder Bay,” explained MP Patty Hadju.

Now that the province has the money it is out of the federal government’s hands as to how the spaces will be created.

“Hopefully, what will happen is childcare providers and possibly new businesses will look to entering the work, the sphere of care,” explained Hadju. “What we really need though, is to see the creation of those new spots so this can’t go to subsidized existing spots. This isn’t about, you know, in general, reducing the cost of care that part has already been negotiated with the province of Ontario. This is about addressing the growing need and making sure that families really do have a fair chance to succeed in the market.”

It’s unclear how the province plans to split up the money or how much each region will receive.