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Ontario Extends $10/day Child Care Entry Deadline To Get More Workers To Apply

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Ontario is extending the deadline for child care providers to apply for the $10-a-day program and streamlining the process in an effort to get more providers to sign up.

The Canadian Press obtained a letter sent today to municipalities informing them that the deadline is being extended from Sept. 1 to Nov. 1, to give operators more time to make decisions and ensure that more parents can see the savings.

Many child care companies, especially for-profit ones, said they want to register to give discounts to parents, but they doubt the impact on their business, and expressed concern that each municipality has a different plan.

Ontario is now telling municipalities they must share a sample standard agreement with all licensed operators in their province by Aug. 29.

A senior government source says operators who have already exited will be able to reconsider their decision due to the changes and opt in, if they choose.

The province also states in the letter that municipalities and workers must make an agreement within 30 calendar days of applying, down from 60, and offer discounts to parents within 20 calendar days of the child care center receiving funding.

The government says that although the deadline has been extended, parents will still see 50 percent savings on December 31, as originally planned.

Just a few weeks before September, the acquisition of statistics varies greatly across municipalities, and some – especially small areas – see all or almost all companies operating, while other regions see less than half of the users who have applied so far.

In Toronto, the largest region, 1,042 of 587 licensed child care centers have applied – and 32 have opted out – although the percentage of for-profit workers who have applied is much lower than non-profits. .

About one-third of eligible for-profit institutions have already applied, compared to two-thirds of non-profit organizations. There are 19 for-profit institutions that have decided to opt out and 13 non-profits that have opted out.

York Region received 240 applications from its 557 providers, although it saw a higher percentage of for-profits than the not-for-profit sector. Ten chose to leave.

In Dufferin County, of the 13 operators, one opted in and one opted out.

Meanwhile, in municipalities such as Manitoulin-Sudbury and Kawartha Lakes, all drivers have applied or indicated that they will do so, while in Thunder Bay, 18 out of 21 have applied or said they will.

In the region of Peel, west of Toronto, the majority of users have shown interest in joining the program, but others have complained about the process, asking them to send an “expression of interest” before receiving information.

Ontario’s rollout of the program differs from other provinces because child care is funded by municipalities, rather than directly by the province, experts say. Some child care advocates expressed concern that municipalities seemed to be negotiating center-to-center agreements, rather than having set goals.

This Canadian Press report was first published on August 16, 2022.

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