Ontario municipalities getting at least $80M less for child care: group

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child care

TORONTO — An Ontario child-care advocacy organization says municipalities are getting at least $80 million less from the province in child care funding this year.

Carolyn Ferns, with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, says once municipalities calculate additional changes to cost-sharing agreements, that figure could rise dramatically.

Education Minister Lisa Thompson says municipalities can look at their administrative spending and find efficiencies to focus money on families.

The City of Toronto has done the calculations Ferns referenced, and says it is getting $85 million less in funding from the province this year — $29 million from a reduction in funding allocations and the rest due to the cost-sharing changes.

The government disputes those numbers, saying Toronto will get $27 million less, including all funding changes.

Ferns’ $80 million figure includes a fund that helped child care centres cover increasing labour costs without passing them on to parents — money that the government says was intended last year as one-time funding, but the previous Liberal education minister disputes that.