On Monday, March 28th, the province and federal government reached an agreement on a National Child Care Plan for Ontario. This new Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care agreement establishes the path forward in providing a universal system of high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care services for all families. Additionally, it is critical to the advancement of social and economic prosperity, and supporting residents who face various systemic barriers, especially women and families who have been disproportionately affected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
This six-year, $13.2 billion dollar funding agreement between the provincial and federal governments will bring about significant positive impacts for Ottawa families. It includes a reduction of child care fees through four steps of reduction to an average of $10 a day per child five years old and younger by September 2025.
As a first step, all Ontario families with children five years old and younger in participating licensed child care centres will see their fees reduced, up to 25 per cent, to a minimum of $12 per day, retroactive to Friday, April 1. In December 2022, parents will see another reduction. In total, fees for families will be reduced in 2022, on average, by 50 per cent. Families will see further fee reductions in September 2024, culminating in a final reduction to an average of $10-a-day child care by September 2025. Parent rebates for child care fees, retroactive to Friday, April 1, will begin as early as May. The province is requiring that licensed child care service providers and home child care agencies enroll into a program between now and Thursday, September 1, and
once approved, the savings to families can be achieved.
Additionally, this agreement provides protection for all for-profit and non-profit child care spaces, helping to support predominantly female entrepreneurs across the province who provide high-quality child care services. It supports the long-term hiring of new early childhood educators, improved compensation for all Registered Early Childhood Educators working in licensed child care and the creation of approximately 86,000 new, high-quality child care spaces for children five years old and younger.
Together with the Child Care and Early Years System Planning Advisory Group, Children’s Services is looking forward to enhanced system improvements to ensure children and families in Ottawa have access to a range of high-quality, inclusive, and affordable programs and services. This $13.2 billion dollar funding agreement (over a six year period) between the provincial and federal governments will bring about significant positive impacts for Ottawa families and an update will be provided when details of the new agreement have been shared with municipalities.