Doly Begum, NDP Early Learning and Child Care critic, said the Ford government’s release of its operational handbook for child care re-opening during COVID-19 on Thursday night has parents and child care advocates worried about skyrocketing costs, on top of the safety of children.
“Instead of helping parents who have to go back to work, the Ford government is making things even worse for them by allowing child care to get even more expensive,” said Begum.
“Doug Ford is downloading the costs of child care onto struggling parents during COVID-19 because he refuses to provide stabilization funding for child care centres that are struggling to re-open.”
The memo says that, as of Sept. 1, child care centres can again charge families for spaces not being used, and raise prices. The memo included no additional funding or supports for the struggling sector.
“Already, some child care centres are closing at a time when children were on waitlists from birth. And for those child care centres re-opening now, they will face pre-COVID staff-to-children ratios, but without extra support from the Ford government for COVID-19 safety measures like enforcing masking, encouraging physical distancing and extra cleaning. This is not the best we can do to keep little ones, staff and the community around them safe,” said Begum.
“Parents who can least afford it will be left without options, and nowhere to turn. Ford is taking a crisis in child care created after 15 years of Liberal government, and making it worse.”Memo-Full Reopening
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