With the provincial general election approaching, Premier Kathleen Wynne has announced the Ontario Liberal’s plans for future child care spending.
This morning at Nelson Mandela Park Public School in Toronto, Premier Wynne pledged that beginning in 2020, full-day licensed child care will become free for preschool children from the age of 2.5 until they are eligible to start kindergarten.
Offering free preschool child care would not only save families an estimated $17,000 per child, but it will allow parents to go back to work when they’re ready and help give children the best start in life.
Also in attendance at this morning’s announcement was Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance, and Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care.
Together, they discussed how the province’s new investment of $2.2 billion over the next three years will expand access to affordable child care across Ontario, ease the financial burden families are facing in our changing economy, and deliver free licensed child care for children from the age of two-and-a-half until kindergarten.
— Kathleen Wynne (@Kathleen_Wynne) March 27, 2018
“Not being able to find or afford child care is stressful, it is troubling, and it is holding families back at a time when it’s already hard enough to get ahead. Our plan to make preschool child care free for Ontario children from the age of two-and-a-half until kindergarten will relieve that pressure and make sure kids are learning and growing in a safe environment, ” said Premier Wynne in a release.
According to Wynne, the province listened to parents, educators, and child care providers across the province and they’ve told Wynne this move is the right one to make.
“I know how stressful it can be for parents with young children. When my three kids were little, I worried about whether they were getting the right start. This investment will make life more affordable for families and allow more parents to make the choice to go back to work, knowing their child is safe and cared for.”
According to the province, making full-day child care free for families with preschool-aged children is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity, and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change.
The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage, and better working conditions with easier access to affordable child care.