How intense pressure from for-profit daycares has transformed Ontario’s rollout of $10-a-day child care — and sparked a political standoff.
The province’s $10-a-day child care subsidy has been in place since October, when the Liberals tacked a five-year price-support plan onto their 2015 election platform.
The subsidy, which covers up to 90 per cent of childcare costs, is paid to childcare centres and other for-profit businesses that receive government funding. Child care centres that opt out can charge a little less.
When Ontario launched the government subsidy, the goal was to be “the first province in the world to have universal child care,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said in October. “That’s the dream, and I’m so proud we are seeing that for the real kids of Ontario.”
But the subsidy hasn’t been cheap: $5.3 billion has been allocated over four years to subsidize child care across Ontario. That has created a debate around affordability and choice for families, which has raised questions about how the government chooses to pay for subsidies, how much it is costing, and whether parents will ever see a return on their investment.
When Ontario launched the government subsidy, the goal was to be “the first province in the world to have universal child care,” Premier Kathleen Wynne said in October. (Tom Vernon/Canadian Press)
Wynne has since made clear her government won’t be cutting the subsidy and won’t introduce a cost-cutting mechanism, but it is facing an intensifying political fight to build consensus around the plan, as well as from critics who wonder if cost-sharing is being unfairly applied to low-income parents.
The subsidy is the largest component of government funding for child care, which costs Ontario $11 billion annually. The Liberals have said the government�