Ontario weakened its $10-a-day child care funding rules. Now the federal government is demanding answers on the rules’ implementation.
On April 30, the Ontario government announced it would increase the price of child care from $1.90 a day to $10 per day, with a maximum annual cost contribution capped at $250. With this move, the province was essentially giving parents the equivalent of the $1,000 annual contribution in parental leave.
The move followed on the heels of a report by Ontario’s auditor general that found significant problems with the way the province had handled child care funding.
Child care is just one of the many services the federal government promises to cover
On April 30, federal Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development, Jody Wilson-Raybould, appeared before a Toronto Star editorial board to defend the government’s child care funding policy. The government is under fire for making too few investments and for not investing in a long-term workforce strategy.
The federal government has been funding child care in Ontario since 2008, while the province has been raising taxes and cutting services to pay for it. In 2018, the province has had to make up the funding shortfall.
In January, Wilson-Raybould promised to make Ontario Canada’s top performer in the amount of money it spends on child care, which is why the province increased the child care subsidy from $1.90 per day to $10 a day.
In October 2018, Ontario had the fifth-highest per capita funding for child care in the country. In January 2019, the country ranked last.
By raising the child care subsidy from $1.90 to $10, Ontario was supposed to make up the funding shortfall with increased spending on other services. However, the government’s budget in 2018-19 didn’t increase spending on child care despite the province’s growing needs.
The federal government’s child care plan has been plagued by controversy
To make up the shortfall in child care funding, Ontario made cuts to services, including its own child care program.
On March 30,