YMCAs Across Ontario Welcome Child Care Affordability Milestone And Announcement To Increase Licensed Child Care Spaces

Photo by Troy T on Unsplash

YMCAs across Ontario welcome announcements by the federal and provincial governments to advance the rollout of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) agreement. With parent fees being reduced by 50% on average on January 1, 53,000 new child care spaces by 2026, and a new provincial grant to help improve access for under-served communities — more families in Ontario will gain access to high-quality licensed care at an affordable cost.

These announcements – by Minister of Families, Children and Social Development of Canada Karina Gould, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce – marked an important milestone towards a more affordable, accessible, and inclusive child care system.

The federal CWELCC agreement, established earlier this year, will reduce the cost of child care over time to $10 a day on average by 2026. YMCAs across Ontario recently opted into the CWELCC system. As a result, they have been actively reducing fees for children five years of age and under, addressing affordability in the licensed child care sector.

“As Ontario’s largest provider of licensed child care, we are eager to work with governments and other partners to expand child care, particularly in equity-deserving communities with diverse populations,” said Linda Cottes, Senior Vice President of Child and Family Development at the YMCA of Greater Toronto and Chair of the YMCA Ontario Provincial Advisory Group. “We look forward to learning more details about today’s provincial government announcement and continuing to work alongside others to bring affordable, high-quality, and accessible child care to families.”

Both the reduction in fees and today’s provincial government announcement are important next steps towards bringing the CWELCC system to life.

“To achieve the goals of CWELCC, governments and child care providers must also work together to ensure providers can access a well-trained and well-compensated child care workforce,” added Cottes. “We are encouraged by today’s news and Ys are committed to supporting recruitment and retention efforts to help ensure the sector can attract, train and retain the early childhood educators needed to serve current families and open more spaces.”


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