Care for Every Child in Ontario

The past year has been especially hard on parents in Ontario – especially moms. Parents and caregivers across Ontario have stepped up to the plate, taking care of the people around them through utter chaos and uncertainty, while Doug Ford has abandoned them. We owe all Ontario caregivers a great deal of thanks for all they have done to manage through the challenges of the past year. They also deserve action from our provincial government.

But this isn’t only about relief for parents; it’s about our economy too. Increasing women’s workforce participation has the potential to grow Ontario’s economy by nearly $7-billion a year. Our economy will not recover from COVID-19 without full and equal workforce participation and that won’t happen without childcare. Every dollar invested in childcare returns $2.50 to the economy. 

Care for Every Child in Ontario

✅ 80% savings with $10 a day child care

✅ 50% savings on before and after-school care

✅ FREE tuition for Early Childhood Educators

“Every family in Ontario, regardless of the kind of care they choose for their child, will be better off because of our plan.”
— Steven Del Duca

This Mother’s Day, Ontario Liberals are committing to universal childcare for every family in Ontario. We will:

  1. Work with our federal partners to implement universal $10-a-day licensed childcare in Ontario, reducing average fees by over 80%:
    • Keep subsidies in place for lower-income families (no cost below $20,000 net family income and partial subsidies up to approx. $45,000)
    • Phased implementation as we create and staff the spaces needed to meet demand: preschool children age 2.5-4 by the end of 2022; toddlers aged 18 months and up by 2023; and all children 0-4 who need it by 2024.
  2. Within 100 days of taking office, reduce fees for before and after-school care by over half to $10/day by September 2022 to ensure families can access flexible licensed care that encourages recreation and skill-building.
  3. Enhancing the 18-month parental leave program to ensure new moms and dads have the option to stay at home longer with their infants without their EI benefits being reduced by the end of next year, while working with the federal government to fill gaps for those who don’t qualify for EI.
  4. For families choosing options and caregivers outside of licensed childcare, we’ll enhance the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit by 50% to an average of $2,000 and will provide it in regular advance payments.

Doug Ford’s government has already said that they won’t partner with the federal government to make this transformative project happen in Ontario. The federal government is putting billions of dollars on the table for Ontario’s childcare system. But Doug Ford wants parents to keep struggling on waitlists and paying $50/day for childcare and maybe get some back in a tax credit under the false promise of “choice.”

Families deserve to choose what best meets their needs – that’s what our Ontario Liberal plan offers. Every family in Ontario will benefit from the choice our plan offers.

We hope that by next Mother’s Day, Premier Ford has delivered real relief for Ontario families. But if he hasn’t, we’ll be asking for your vote in the June 2022 election so we can. Our #TakeTheMic platform consultation resulted in over 230,000 votes on policy ideas, and universal childcare received 90% support.

Our costed plan for universal childcare for every family in Ontario will:

  • Reduce average fees for those in licensed childcare from over $50 to $10/day — more than 80% or average annual savings of about $10,000 per child
  • Enable approximately 130,000 Ontario parents, mostly mothers, to join the workforce full-time (estimated 40% increase)
  • Provide free tuition for all early childhood education (ECE) programs at Ontario’s colleges while ensuring the economic dignity of workers with enhanced pay and benefits for workers, to align with full-day kindergarten classrooms. We will also improve recruitment, retention and professional learning opportunities. The majority of childcare workers, almost all women, earn less than $20/hr – our new wage grid would range from $23-40/hr for ECEs.
  • Create 30,000 new jobs for early childhood educators and other childcare centre staff and 15,000 construction jobs to help create new childcare spaces over three years in schools, workplaces and community spaces where they are needed most
  • Leverage our commitment to kill Highway 413 and re-invest the $8 billion in savings into our publicly-funded schools to build new childcare centres in schools
  • Ensure the particular childcare needs of children with special needs, Indigenous families, racialized communities and rural communities are met with flexible and inclusive care options, including a focus on licensed home care expansion and an equitable funding approach for First Nations communities
  • Prioritize expansion of not-for-profit childcare and innovative approaches for those working shifts and non-traditional hours, while ensuring all families in licensed spaces have affordable fees and quality, safe care.

This Mothers Day, we are celebrating the moms of Ontario — and we’re ready to take the action that the parents and caregivers of Ontario deserve.

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