Hoping for $10-a-day child care? Here’s how many Toronto daycares opted in to the federal program.
A program that’s been on the books for more than a decade means more than 50,000 children in Toronto now have access to $10-a-day, on-site subsidized daycare.
But despite the program’s launch in 1999, the city has no idea how many daycares have signed up, or how many are eligible for the program.
That’s why the city launched a survey to determine how many daycares in Toronto chose to get on board with the program.
The city was only able to get data for about 20 per cent of the city’s daycares, but so far, the results are promising.
There were 830 daycares in the city when the survey was launched in April, with 524 opting in. That said, just 23 per cent saw a growth in enrolments over the last five years; of that group, most were new families.
The results of the survey reveal a few surprising facts:
The majority of daycares don’t accept all daycare providers, leaving just 20 per cent that are the majority.
There’s no correlation between the number of parents in a daycare that opt in to the subsidy and the daycare’s overall enrolment rate.
While daycare enrolment is low overall, the ones that see the biggest increases are mostly new families, suggesting that new parents are most likely drawn to the subsidized daycare because of its value.
Daycares that have the most enrolments are mostly for more-affluent parents, who have higher incomes, but the ones with the lowest enrolments are mostly in areas of higher poverty, including more working-class parents.
City hall says the survey is the first it’s conducted for the subsidy and is a first step in understanding the program’s demographics.
But the results of the survey should be treated with a certain amount of caution, especially as it’s just the first of several surveys city hall plans. Other surveys are already being conducted to better understand the subsidy.
Still, the city is hoping this information will provide an important starting point for further research and policy-making.
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