Eligible families will be provided one-time child care fee assistance as part of an affordability strategy to support families in Ottawa. Children’s Services is reinvesting $4M in provincial funding in response to the significant impacts that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on families in our community. In particular, the pandemic highlighted inequities and had disproportionate impacts on women and groups facing systemic barriers, including low-income families. This reinvestment of funding is the result of continued monitoring of the Children’s Services budget and recent provincial clarification addressing access and affordability through provincial funding to reduce fees for families.
The breakdown of this one-time fee assistance is as follows:
- • Families in receipt of a fee subsidy who have a parental contribution are receiving a onetime credit for their November and December fees. This represents a total of approximately $1M and will support more than 3,000 children and their families.
- • $3M is being allocated to not-for-profit child care service providers with an existing General Operating contribution agreement as a one-time fee assistance payment to be issued as a refund or credit to full fee families for not-for-profit child care and school board extended day programs and services received in December. This one-time payment serves to support an estimated 14,000 children and their families.
Families in receipt of a fee subsidy with a parental contribution will be notified by Children’s Services of this one-time credit today and any questions should be directed to their Child Care Case Worker at email@example.com.
Full fee families attending not-for-profit child care or school board extended day program will be notified of this one-time credit by their service provider by January 31, 2022. These families should direct any questions to their service provider.
Impact on child care in the community
Service providers are being asked to communicate and issue refunds or credits to full fee families by January 31, 2022. Where December full fees exceed the funding provided, service providers have the flexibility to determine how to equitably refund or credit families. If any funding remains after full fee families are refunded or credited for services in December, it can be used to ensure the continued viability and sustainability of the organization.
Impact on Municipal Child Care Centres
The directly operated Municipal Child Care Centres are eligible to receive an equitable portion of the affordability strategy allocation. All full fee families will receive a one-time fee assistance credit for December services.
This affordability strategy directly supports families and aligns with commitments identified in the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts, Supports and Planning Considerations for the Child Care and Early Years Sector and Children’s Services Workplan Update 2021-2022. Previous one-time additional funding strategies that Children’s Services has implemented to support the continued viability and sustainability of the child care and early years sector include: funding for service providers in response to the increased costs of operating child care and EarlyON child and family centres during the pandemic, support for child care and early years workers and supports to strengthen the social infrastructure of our community. Please refer to Appendix A for a detailed summary.