• Ontario’s imperfect move in the right direction on child care

    … a TD Bank study found that for every $1 invested, provincial and federal governments receive $1.50 in increased tax revenues. It’s discouraging, then, that the provincial government did not set out new affordable fees for subsidized child care in this week’s framework… studies of the Quebec model have shown it pays for itself with economic benefits. In fact, 40 per cent of the cost is recovered in income and payroll taxes alone… the lack of immediate fee relief for parents is a disappointing shortcoming

  • Ontario’s plan for ‘universal’ and ‘affordable’ day care won’t be universal and it sure isn’t affordable

    Subsidies will only be available to low- and middle-income families, and this is a good thing… Government-run day care is simply uneconomical… by increased levels of unionization among child-care workers — both those at public centres and those offering home-based day care. With Ontario’s new labour-law proposals, which would increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour and allow for easier private sector unionization, the cost increases could be even more dramatic.

  • Dear Ontario: Licensing daycares won’t fix the real problems

    While workers in child-care centres have been promised a $2 hourly wage increase (some day), there’s no plan to help the home daycare providers caring for thousands of Ontario kids take more money home. The only real promise made to home daycare providers was to eliminate the fees charged by private agencies, which then inspect and approve them on behalf of the province… Even though licensing will be free (by 2022 or so), it’s not going to be made mandatory

  • National Child Data Strategy: Results of a Feasibility Study

    While ‘strategy’ may be too broad, key informants identified strong support for continued work on child data so long as it is clearly defined, does not duplicate existing efforts and is shaped by key players in the field. Next steps include: mapping key data initiatives, creating opportunities for conversation, creating opportunities for learning, supporting data collection, and supporting engagement and knowledge translation.

  • Ontario commits to universally accessible child care

    The government’s goal to build a “universally accessible” child-care system in Ontario sets out seven action areas for the next five years… by adding 100,000 licensed spots in homes, schools and community settings by 2022… action areas include focusing expansion in the public and non-profit sectors, developing strategies to address affordability and the child-care workforce, boosting inclusion for children with special needs and drafting a provincial definition of quality in early-years programs for kids up to age 12.

  • Childcare Expense Tax Breaks Need New Approach

    … the report proposes switching from the current tax deduction to a generous federal refundable tax credit model – along the lines of Quebec’s existing tax credit – that would considerably lower the effective price of childcare for low- to middle-income families, with the net gains from the credit slowly vanishing at higher income levels… for the federal government, which would be instituting the childcare fiscal subsidy, induced tax revenues would reduce the cost of financing the program. For provincial governments, new tax revenues generated by extra maternal work would be a windfall that could be used to fund other priorities.

  • What will it take for Ottawa finally to tackle Indigenous child-welfare crisis?

    Last January, the Human Rights Tribunal ruled that Ottawa was failing in its legal duty to apply Jordan’s Principle, which says that no First Nations child should be denied welfare services due to jurisdictional disputes. Three months later, the tribunal found the feds still had not taken action and issued a compliance order. In October, it issued a second… The federal government has spent nearly $1 million defending itself against these tribunal complaints over the last year. It lost every time.

  • Wynne government promises much-needed investment in child care

    This funding promises to help 24,000 kids access daycare, addressing an urgent funding shortfall. Right now some 15,400 kids are on the waitlist for subsidized care, while at the same time more than 4,000 spaces sit vacant because parents can’t afford fees that run as high as $20,000 a year… Funding subsidized spaces… will help some women back into the work force, improving the family’s bottom line while boosting the economy and the tax base.

  • A pre-pre-election budget to bolster Liberal fortunes

    Free pharmaceuticals for young people (a blessing). Transit breaks for old people (a sop). Cheaper child care for young parents (long overdue). Free tuition for most college students (already announced but still worthy and worth repeating). Rent control for everyone (a reprise). Hefty discounts off everyone’s hydro bills (a perennial). And the first balanced budget after a decade of deficits (about time). Which clears the way for its more progressive measures, notably phased pharmacare.

  • … Top 23 takeaways from the Ontario budget

    Ontario will become the first province to offer pharmacare to all young people, regardless of income, who are 24 and under. Some 4,400 prescription drugs will be covered… the abortion pill will provide an alternative to women seeing to end a pregnancy up to seven weeks… The province will spend $20 million to increase respite care for dementia patients and increase the number of seniors’ centres… From elementary schools to jails to seniors centres, the province is improving mental health services in many of its service areas…