The Liberals in Ontario have planned to make full-day daycare free for all children that are 2-and-a-half until they can go to kindergarten. The program will be set in motion starting with 2020, if the Liberals get to form government after the election in June 2018.
Premier Kathleen Wynne stated on Tuesday:
“Not being able to find or afford child care is stressful. It is troubling, and it is holding families back at a time when it is already hard enough to get ahead.”
The province will spend $930 million for the program. The announcement made by Wynne was in front of parents and children at Nelson Mandela Park Public School, Toronto.
“No more anxiety about costs … The freedom to choose when it’s time for mom or dad to go back to work. This is a big change,” said the Premier. “We’re playing the long game here, folks. This is the investment in the people of this province.”
Wondering how much money will an average family save for one preschooler? A small fortune! In Toronto, daycare costs a lot: $17,000 per preschooler. The costs are higher than in any other city from Canada.
More Promises from Liberals
According to Gordon Cleveland, an economist at the University of Toronto, daycare is now a “punishing financial burden”. His research shows that each year, an average family from Ontario will spend between $10,000 to $22,000, the amount depending on how young the children are and where they live.
Cleveland stated that if day-care will be free for preschoolers, not only the Ontario families will get to “balance the demands of work, education, and family life”, but they will also “dramatically improve affordability, especially for children in low and middle income families.”
Liberals also plan to use $90-million to increase the number of daycare spaces for children in Ontario. Wynne has pledged in 2016 to create 100,000 new spots for children aged under four by 2021.
Ontario’s Liberals have quite great and costly plans for the next years. The election will take place on 7 June.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.