Hoping for $10-a-day child care? Here’s how many Toronto daycares opted in to the federal program — and the number of children they serve.
“This is a big deal,” Linda Waddell, executive director of the Toronto Community Housing Association, said. “The daycare program is so important for families making $10 or less.”
As part of the $30,000-a-year, two-year federal subsidy, the city has been helping to run a pilot project with 17 daycares, many of them located in the downtown core.
Waddell said the city will be evaluating the program over the next few months in terms of how it is going and what changes could be made to the system, given it has been successful thus far.
“I’m very proud that we are now able to provide a better choice for parents who need an in-home option,” she said.
The city’s daycare program covers single parents raising children under the age of 18, and includes a $350 flat-rate subsidy to cover costs for daycare, but does not cover fees or other costs associated with private child care arrangements.
While the $30,000 grant is open to most families, Waddell said the city has been working to find families who qualify to apply.
“We are always looking to partner with other stakeholders in the community, to help ensure that families have access to the services they need,” she said.
It is rare for daycares to get federal assistance, and it is unknown how many of the 17 were privately run.
The city’s program is an early example of a national push in Ontario, and one that could eventually have a direct impact on the lives of families trying to get back on their feet.
“A huge number of families who are working hard and having some success are still struggling to make ends meet,” said Waddell. “They are looking for some help. We help them. We let them know that there is a good program.”
In recent years, more and more families have chosen not to use daycares, opting instead for the in-home option, with a variety of different approaches