Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday May 4, 2019
Province’s funding cuts jeopardize 6,166 subsidized child care spaces in Toronto, staff says
Provincial funding cuts and policy changes could result in 6,166 fewer subsidized child care spaces in Toronto and cost the city more than $80-million this year alone, according to city staff.
In a memo to the mayor and council obtained by CBC Toronto on Thursday, City Manager Chris Murray detailed the potential impacts of a reduction in child care funding that was outlined in the province’s recent 2019 budget. The fallout will be compounded by considerable changes to existing child care-related cost-sharing models, the memo says.
“As with recent changes to the provincial/municipal cost-sharing arrangements for public health, the City was not consulted or provided with any advance warning of these changes,” the memo says.
Murray cautions that city staff are still awaiting precise numbers from the province, but they estimate that, cumulatively, the changes will cost Toronto $84.8 million this year. That figure includes a $28.6-million reduction in direct provincial funding and $56.2-million due to cost-sharing changes, the memo explains.
“This represents a direct pressure on the 2019 Children’s Services Operating Budget, which city council has already approved and for which the municipal levy bylaw has been passed,” it continues.
The result is the potential loss of 6,166 subsidized child care spaces in Toronto, the memo estimates.
The overall number of child care spaces is not expected to change, but a smaller number will be filled by children who have access to the subsidy, the city says. (Source: CBC News)