Fees for child care in Ontario will be decreased by up to 25% starting in April 2022, with another 25% drop planned for December.
Fee reductions for children aged five and under in licensed facilities are part of a six-year, $13.2 billion contract with the federal government to subsidize the cost of child care.
The province of Ontario is the last to sign on to the national agreement, which intends to lower rates to an average of $10 per day by September 2025.
The deals with other provinces and territories stipulated that the money be spent over five years.
However, because Ontario’s deal was reached just days prior to the end of the fiscal year, an allowance was made for the province to defer the first year of funding into the second year of the agreement.
That means that parents with children in daycare will essentially have to wait at least three months longer for fee relief than their counterparts in other provinces, most of which reduced fees by at least 25 per cent retroactive to Jan. 1.
In Ontario the fee reduction will be retroactive to April 1, with rebates to parents expected to begin in May when the province is in the midst of an election campaign.
It should be noted that some parents might have to wait longer as the province works with municipalities to enroll the more than 5,000 licenced childcare centres and home care agencies in Ontario in the program between now and September.
“Individual operators will have to enroll in the program but parents themselves will not, they will receive an automatic benefit and savings on a monthly basis,” Education Minister Stephen Lecce told reporters during a press conference in Brampton on Monday. “Operators will make that decision, they have to do so before September and within 60 days of that decision the expectation and part of this agreement codifies it, is that those savings would trickle down to the parents, to the consumer.”
Source_ The Canadian Press