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Children’s Services unwilling to pay full fee cost for 97% of Programs!

Deputation: Budget 2018 – Jan 10th 2018


My name is June Hall, I am a Board member of the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care and Director of Main Square Day Care centre.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak to you this afternoon

On behalf of Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care I surveyed 119 not-for profit day care centres within its total membership.  We were concerned that the City of Toronto had not paid the rates the day cares had budged for.  We conducted a survey in the late fall of 2017 among our members to see if the City was paying their rates as budgeted by the day care centres.     This survey was conducted among the TCBCC membership.

Participant Details

  • 119 day care centres were sent surveys
  • 48 surveys were returned, which represents a 40 % response rate (which is a very good return rate for an external online survey)
  • 31 wards were represented in these responses
  • This included a total of 5639 licensed spaces Of which 1936 were subsidy spaces And 2880.50 were full fee
  • 822.50 of the total spaces were vacant


Our data showed on average child care fees were underfunded by the City of Toronto for 2017 by the following amounts;

  • Infants—$4.68 per day per child
  • Toddlers-$4.49 per day per child
  • Preschool 4.57 per day per child
  • Kindergarten $ 4.09 per day per child
  • School Age $ 3.17 per day per child

The budget year starts in January and the City did not confirm rates until May.

When they did confirm rates, it was far less than programs had budgeted for and by then it was too late to adjust expenses.

Based on a 40% response rate child care programs lost $750,102.17.  If these numbers are the same for the remaining 60% who did not respond, we are potentially looking at a figure in excess of 1 million dollars.

The most common reasons given by City staff for these cuts were;

  • Staff are overpaid.  Does the City want us to pay our staff less?
  • Program costs are too high. Program requirements are dictated by the Province and City and we are responding to those requirements.
  • Administration costs are high. How do we attract good people?
  • They want us to pay less for food. How do we do that? (gift cards from Loblaws)
  • We spend too much on housekeeping supplies. Do they want us not to have a clean and sanitary day care?
  • Staff benefits are too expensive. The benefits we give are staff are less than what the City of Toronto gives similar staff and it goes on and on.

Our survey indicates in order to meet these rate cuts by the City of Toronto cuts will occur across all aspects of the budget including staff salaries and benefits, food for the children etc. etc.

Rates will have to increase for non-subsidized families.

The City has in fact reduced funding in the system by compromising good quality programs.  You can’t expand good quality programs if you are taking money out of the system.

If you underpay child care programs parents have to pay more.

Posted in Deputations, Your Voice.

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