The TCBCC spoke to the Community Development & Recreation Committee (CDRC) about the ongoing implementation of Full Day Kindergarten, specifically the impacts that this process is having on pre-existing child care centres. The June 26th CDRC committee meeting heard many deputations from child care staff speaking to the Full Day Kindergarten Implementation update. They spoke “about the overwhelming stress on our child care programs, and the distress about the claw back of wage subsidies.” TCBCC reaffirms the fundamental need to protect wage subsidy payments
The TCBCC appreciates that CDRC staff “have struggled to keep this underfunding system together…But it is imperative that this NOT be done on the backs of fee-paying Parents and hard-working child care staff.”
Read the full deputation here.
Good Morning Councillors.
My Name is Jane Mercer and I speaking on behalf of the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care . . . a network that supports more than 20,000 families in non-profit child care programs across the City of Toronto. Our members also include licensed home child care providers, family resource programs, welfare agencies and Children’s Services organizations.
Thank-you for giving us this opportunity – to speak to the Full Day Kindergarten Implementation Update.
As you are aware – we are right in the middle of the Budget process and we have received some incredibly good news – $20 million (annualized) NEW child care dollars in 2014, . . . flowing from the Province.
With this significant boost in funding FINALLY coming, and a Council that we know wants to provide better access to affordable, high quality, child care for families across the City , we are confident that Council will support all of the recommendations we made to the 2014 Budget two days ago. *
We are here today – to highlight ONE of those recommendations in particular – and to ask YOU to be our Child Care Champions (as you have been in the past) by taking this forward to Budget Committee – it is CRUCIAL to the stability of our system.
We know that this committee has tried very hard to keep on top of the roll-out of FDK and the impacts on our child care system
at the June 26 CDRC meeting – when you received the last staff update you also heard MANY deputations about the overwhelming stress on our child care programs, and the distress about the claw back of wage subsidy.
You listened: and you asked the General Manager to report back to the September CDRC “on the feasibility of keeping wage subsidy payments available for child care centres, as they re-configure services for younger children, until such time as the new funding model has been developed and is implemented”. Council gave their unanimous support, at their meeting in July.
(The report was supposed to come back to you in September . . . we’re not sure why it got delayed until now – but the staff have now answered your question in this report . . .)
we certainly HOPE it’s not too late – for this committee to get it in the budget – this funding needs to come back into child care programs, both retroactively AND moving forward – it YES, we think you’ll agree it is NOW very much feasible
We do appreciate that staff have struggled to keep this underfunded system together through a very difficult time – and have been trying to allocate resources to areas of greatest need. . . But it is imperative that this NOT be done on the backs of fee-paying Parents and hard-working child care staff. Supporting middle income families as well as low income – is not only in the City’s mandate – it is crucial to the stability of the system – no full-fee paying parents – no system)
The decision to claw back any further $$s from our child care programs at a time when THEY are bearing the brunt of the FDK was seen as incredibly unfair . . .and is really not operating “in Good Faith” if it is a step towards a NEW model – that you are still supposedly “consulting on”.
It is a decision that has made the City very unpopular among parents and staff – and that is very sad for those of us who advocate for child care – because I know beyond any doubt that you have been the MOST progressive level of government and have shown great leadership . . .
As FDK rolled out, – it rocked our child care system and Parents across Toronto – got out and did exactly what you hoped they’d do – they lobbied the Provincial Government like never before – INVEST MORE in Child Care – and when the Province did just that – those SAME PARENTS are understandably angry when this City decision causes their Fees to go up again!
Councillors you know all too well – that these are the middle income parents that will advocate for child care – If we drive them out of our system – they won’t be around to push the Province Next time!. . . . . . .
1) re-instate the wage subsidy
2) 528 new child care subsidies
3) and work with the community to expand . . .
And besides “Who wants a child care system that only works for the very rich, or the very poor” . . . and who wants a Toronto like that either