COVID-19: IMPORTANT INFORMATION


When Will Your Child Care Centre Reopen?

Currently, there is no clear answer to this question. While the Provincial government has announced that licensed child care centres will be allowed to reopen and to return to their full operating capacity as of September 1, 2020, that doesn't mean that all centres will be able to do so.

While the Province promised that it would provide "sustainability funding" to help licensed child care centres survive the COVID-19 emergency closure period, and then promised "enhanced operating funding" to help licensed child care centres cope with the costs associated with reopening (additional cleaning, disinfection, equipment, PPE, etc.), a lot of this funding has not yet made its way to licensed centres. Without it, many licenced child care centres are unlikely to be able to reopen or scale up their operations in time for back-to-school.

ADCO believes the Province needs to investigate why it is taking some municipalities so long to provide child care licensees with the Provincial funding they were promised to help them survive the COVID-19 emergency closure. This funding dates back to March, April and May, and while some municipalities made it available to centres weeks ago, others are still telling centres that it won’t be paid out until at least September. The disparity from one municipality to another illustrates the weakness of the current system of funneling almost all Provincial funding for licensed child care through 47 different municipal bureaucracies.

Ontario is the only province in Canada that hands over almost all funding for licensed child care to its municipalities. It also gives them a great deal of discretion over how these taxpayer dollars are spent. Even prior to COVID-19, this system meant that even if a family met the Provincial income criteria for receiving a fee subsidy to help with their child care costs, whether or not they actually received this support depended largely on where in Ontario they lived. Rather than helping more parents with their child care costs, some municipalities prefer to allocate your tax dollars to creating and maintaining elaborate bureaucratic systems to "manage" licensed child care in their areas.

Parents should be aware that the longer it takes for the Provincial COVID-19 relief funding to make its way to centres, the more likely it is that some centres will never reopen. If this concerns you and you expect the Province to hold municipalities accountable for how your tax dollars are spent, please email the Premier of Ontario at premier@ontario.ca


What You Can Do To Help

ADCO's goal is to make sure that every licensed child care centre closed by the COVID-19 pandemic is able to fully and safely reopen to support area families. If you also feel this is important and that the Provincial government needs to take action on this issue, please send an email to Premier Doug Ford, Education Minister Stephen Lecce, and your local MPP.

The Premier's email is:premier@ontario.ca.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce's email is:stephen.lecce@pc.ola.org.

To find your MPP, you need to know your Provincial electoral district. If you don't know your provincial electoral district, you may look it up by postal code here. Once you know your provincial electoral district, you may look up your MPP's contact information here. 


 

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