August 2019
Backgrounder
On May 27, 2019, AMO welcomed Premier Ford and Minister Steve Clark’s announcement on pausing the in-year changes to child care until January 2020. However, this only defers the fiscal impact of the changes.

AMO requested greater clarity on the deferred increase in municipal cost-sharing for expansion plans and reduced provincial administrative funding. Municipal partners play a crucial role in delivering child-care programs and need additional time and opportunity to plan and manage programs according to the proposed 80:20 provincial and municipal government cost-sharing for expansion plans. Additionally, AMO also expressed concerns regarding the planned reduction of the administrative thresholds to 5% from 10%, and highlighted that administrative costs (e.g. leases, rents) are a critical component of the program delivery - that support essential front-line services.

AMO believes that municipal governments are best positioned to help the provincial government determine how best to expand child care across the province and enhance early years initiatives to increase access to more affordable, high-quality care for Ontario’s children and their families.  AMO will continue to provide ongoing input as the government is developing child care and early years plan.

Context
Investments in child care and early learning help families and communities thrive by making full-time work possible. Especially in northern and rural communities, child care systems help attract and retain the skilled workforce needed to grow local economies.

The costs of child care programs within Ontario are shared by the provincial and municipal governments. Municipal governments and District Social Service Administration Boards (DSSABs) play a significant role in funding, planning, managing and in some cases, also directly delivering child care programs.

As part of the 2019 Budget, the province announced an investment of more than $2 billion over the next three years for child care and early years. The new proposed Child Care and Relief from Expense (CARE) tax credit was also approved in the 2019 budget to be affective for the 2019 tax year. The new CARE tax credit is anticipated to provide about 300,000 families with up to 75 per cent of their eligible childcare expenses and allow families to access a broad range of child-care options, including care in centers, homes and camps.

The province also announced that it would be removing restrictions on for-profit child-care providers to increase flexibility for municipalities and give more choice to families. As well, it announced that municipal cost-sharing for expansion of child care would resume this year.