Parents interested in the federal-provincial $10 daycare program will have to wait a little while longer.
Last March, the federal government and province signed a deal to both create more childcare spaces and to bring the cost of childcare for children under 5 years down to $10 per day. Parents were promised that their childcare fees would be reduced by up to 25% – retroactive to April 1, 2022 – for eligible children of providers in the system.
Licensed childcare providers were given until September 1 to opt-in, or opt-out of, participating in the Canada Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system. This date has now been pushed back to November 1, 2022.
The new date was set to provide more time to answer the questions holding providers back from opt-ing into the system. Questions on the minds of providers included whether enough funding will be provided to fully subsidize the reduced fees, details of the new contract, and the amount of autonomy the CWELCC system would allow providers to run their businesses.
As a result of the new fall date, families will not see immediate relief to their childcare costs.
By the end of August, all childcare providers will receive a sample of the CWELCC agreement. They will have until November 1 to submit their application to opt-in. Within 30 days of submitting an application, municipalities and childcare providers will have to execute an agreement. And (here is the news parents are waiting for!), within 20 days of receiving the funding, providers will give parents retroactive rebates for eligible children.
News of CWELCC was exciting for the Manor Park Community Council (MPCC) team! Our Child Care & Early Learning team runs two licensed programs: Before- and After-School in Manor Park (including full-time licensed care) and Manor Park Playschool. We also have started the licensing process for a new daycare at 1805 Gaspe. (We've started a waitlist. Add your name.)
We know that licensed, affordable, quality childcare is important for our community to thrive. With rising cost of groceries and living expenses, $10 daycare for parents of children aged 5 and younger is more welcome than ever before.
As an employer, we also know that the people who take care of children, Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECE), deserve a living wage. The CWELCC system provides a base wage of $18 per hour for an Educator who has graduated with an ECE diploma and is a member of the College of Early Childhood Educators, as well as planned annual wage increases. These wages are disgracefully low for the important work of these professionals and we will continue to advocate for them.
The MPCC intends to opt-in to the CWELCC for our two existing licensed childcare programs as well as the daycare being planned. At the time of writing however, the agreement has not been made available and critical answers remain outstanding.
Childcare fee reductions for families in our programs would begin with a reduction of up to 25% to provide a minimum of $12 per day – retroactive to April 1, 2022 – for children 5 years and younger. Further fee reductions will take place in 2023 and 2024 with the aim of reaching $10 per day care in 2025.