Petition: Stop Ford’s Cuts to Child Care

Child Care in Toronto is already the most expensive in the country [1]. And now, according to a new City of Toronto report, Doug Ford is cutting at least $15 million a year from Toronto child care - which could rise to $49 million a year once much-needed new child care centres are opened. This immediately puts over 700 affordable child care spaces at risk

But Ford has backed down on his cuts before after hearing from thousands of people. Use our form now to send a message to Ford, his Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, your MPP, and Toronto City Council today.  Scroll down to find out more from the new city report.

BACKGROUND

A new, just-released report from the city outlines the impact of Ford’s proposed cuts to child care. His cut of $15 million next year, could mean the loss of 760 affordable child care spaces. With over 15,000 kids on the waiting list for affordable child care in Toronto [2] and a system that is already unaffordable for 75% of families [2], we must respond and stop these cuts.

How is Ford doing this? He’s changing the cost-sharing formula. The Province had committed to fully funding affordable child care spaces and now he is cutting his support for affordable child care by 20%. That means affordable child care spaces will only be 80% funded by the Province.

And that’s just the first phase of his cuts. 49 new child care centres are planned to be built in Toronto District School Board sites, which could open up 3,000 new spaces in Toronto.  These are desperately needed. As of February 2017, there were only enough licensed child care spaces in the city to serve less than a third of children living in Toronto [3]. 

Ford’s cuts mean these new sites will no longer receive operating  funding from the Province - representing an additional $34 million cut annually once these new, much-needed spaces open.


CHILD CARE IN TORONTO

In Quebec, child care costs as little as $7 a day, and in BC the new Premier is bringing in $25/day childcare.

In Toronto? It’s at least $96.20 a day for kids under 18 months and almost $90/day for Toddlers [4]. Toronto Children's Services has shown that licensed child care is unaffordable to over 75% of families in our city [3]. And, as of February 2017, there were only enough licensed child care spaces in the city to serve less than a third of children living in Toronto [3].

With an affordability crisis in Toronto, safe and accessible child care should not be out of reach.

While universally affordable child care is the solution, the City of Toronto does provide an income-based subsidy program, helping make the costs of child care more accessible for thousands of families [5].

But it’s not enough. More than 15,000 children are on the waitlist for a subsidized spot [2]. That means kids are put in unlicensed spaces or a parent/guardian may not be able to work because their income is less than the cost of child care. We know that women working in the City of Toronto currently earn just over 78 cents, on average, for every dollar a man makes and in Ontario and racialized women earn only 85 cents for every dollar non-racialized women earns. That means, these child care cuts disproportionately impact woman-identified parents and guardians, especially if they are Black, Indigenous, or People of Colour.

Despite our city’s child care crisis, Doug Ford has announced that he will be cutting $15 million from child care next year - starting in just a few months. This could go up to $49 million a year in cuts once much-needed new child care spaces are open in the city.

You can see the full City of Toronto report on what these cuts mean by clicking here.