The Ontario Liberals will help every family in our province access quality, affordable child care by taking the price tag off preschool child care, starting in 2020.
Premier Kathleen Wynne was in North York on Mother"s Day to talk about how the high cost of child care forces parents, particularly women, to make difficult choices about their family and their career. With a three-year investment of $2.2 billion, the Ontario Liberals plan to take those costs out of the equation by making full-day licensed child care publicly funded for children from the age of two-and-a-half until they are eligible to start kindergarten — which will save families an average of $17,000 per child.
Publicly funded child care helps Ontario in two main ways. First, research shows that early learning through child care improves children"s academic performance throughout their lives. Second, universally accessible and affordable preschool childcare will help more parents and women participate in the province"s growing economy. Approximately 40,000 parents would be able to rejoin Ontario"s workforce full-time with publicly funded child care, according to economist Dr. Gordon Cleveland.
Recognizing the importance of child care, the Ontario Liberals have said they will also:
Cut wait times for child care spaces by increasing operating funding across the system by $162.5 million over three years
Support the continued expansion of child care for children ages 0 to 4 years with a $90 million investment starting in 2018-19
Make sure child care workers" pay aligns with Early Childhood Educators in full-day kindergarten
Expand licensed child care programs in First Nations communities with a $40 million investment over three years
Create pilot projects to explore new ways of delivering child care, specifically for parents who work long hours, shifts or are in precarious work situations
The Doug Ford Conservatives don"t have a plan for child care. They"ll offer a small tax credit to parents, but cut billons from the services people depend on — like health care, education and transit — while rewarding the rich with unnecessary corporate tax cuts.
The NDP have made a promise on child care they can"t deliver. They don"t have a plan to build enough child care spaces to meet demand, and their approach to child care will grow wait lists — not shrink them. They have no plan to strengthen Ontario"s economy — which supports the services people depend on — and they would slam businesses with a huge tax hike.
Only the Ontario Liberals have a child care plan that will bring real relief for families. It will save parents an average of $17,000 per child, and make sure families have access to quality care when and where they need it. The Liberal plan also expands publicly funded prescription drugs to one-in-two people in Ontario, makes the largest mental health care investment in Canadian history, builds a record amount of transit, boosts hospital funding and helps more people go to college or university with publicly funded tuition. Ontario"s economy is the strongest it has been in two decades, but that growth and the care and services it funds are at risk this election.