Toronto Children’s Services promotes access to high quality early learning, and provides child care and supports for families through a well-planned and managed system. All families in Toronto benefit from a range of services that promote healthy child development and family well-being.

Budget Notes

The Children’s Services Division is the service system manager of childcare within Toronto. In partnership with the community, the division promotes equitable access to high quality care for children and support for families and caregivers. An integrated approach to planning and management ensures that services to children promote early learning and development, respond to families’ needs and choices and respect the diversity of Toronto’s communities.

View the Children’s Services Program Map in greater detail.

Toronto Children’s Services promotes access to high quality early learning, and provides child care and supports for families through a well-planned and managed system. All families in Toronto benefit from a range of services that promote healthy child development and family well-being.

2018 Budget Summary

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $551.561 million gross and $80.584 million net.

For 2018, the Program faced pressures arising mainly from the inflationary impact of the cost of purchased child care, salaries and benefits changes, and an increase in complement to accommodate legislative changes in staffing ratios as well as the need to continue funding for occupancy grants for child care centres located in the schools.

Through base budget reductions, operational efficiencies and revenue changes, including a draw from the Child Care Expansion Reserve Fund as a bridging strategy, the Program was able to fully offset $6.099 million in operating budget pressures.

Fast Facts

  • Toronto’s licensed child care system includes approximately 72,000 spaces for children from birth to 12 years.
  • Toronto Early Learning and Child Care Services (TELCCS) has 52 centres and one home child care agency serving over 3,000 children.
  • Together with community agencies, Children’s Services provides support to more than 990 child care operators, ensuring that children with special needs and their families can participate in child care programs.

Trends

  • Children’s Services continues to focus on improving customer service through business transformation, automation and by providing access through a variety of service channels, including:
  • The introduction of an Online Service Request System that will allow more than 990 child care operators to ensure children with special needs and their families receive support to participate in child care programs;
  • The launch of “My Child Care Account” will provide families with a variety of self-service functions including access to information about child care options and an online application for child care fee subsidy.
  • The increase in online functionally reflecting the upgrades made possible by the completion of the Customer Service Improvement capital project, which will be further improved with the implementation of the Growing Child Care for Toronto project.

Key Service Deliverables for 2018

Children’s Services is responsible for managing Toronto’s Child Care system in accordance with the Council approved 2015-2019 Children’s Services Service Plan and Provincial guidelines and within the provincially legislated requirements of the Child Care and Early Years Act, 2014.

The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget will fund the delivery of the following:

  • 28,975 child care subsidies;
  • 679 contracted child care centres with contracts for fee subsidy;
  • 10 home child care agencies with fee contracts for subsidy;
  • 68 additional child care centres with contracts for General Operating Grant;
  • 900+ centres with agreements for Provincial Wage Enhancement;
  • 52 Toronto Early Learning & Child Care Service Centres and 1 home child care agency;
  • 21 agencies providing service for children with special needs;
  • Assume a new service system management role for 262 EarlyON Child and Family Centre locations to be known as CFC’s;
  • 34 summer day programs;
  • 51 after-school & recreation programs (ARC); and
  • New projects to support growth in licensed child care spaces across the City.

Our Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Manage new and expanded responsibilities as a result of provincial legislation and regulatory changes.
    • The 2018 Preliminary Budget includes $2.0 million in funding for 26.4 new positions resulting from legislative changes to address the staffing ratios in 52 Early Learning Centres.
  • Expand fee subsidies and public funding for operators to support Toronto’s low-income children age 0-12, and invest to support a thriving workforce.
    • With the new Provincial / Federal growth funding, 2,616 new subsidies were added in 2017, bringing the total budgeted subsidies to 28,975. 1 new and enhanced priority for $12.0 million to add 825 new spaces in 2018 is included on the list of New and Enhanced Priorities for Budget Committee’s consideration during the 2018 budget process.
    • The 2018 Preliminary Budget includes funding of $0.950 million for operators to offset operating costs to keep fees lower for families.
    • Develop policies and controls to ensure that public funding reduces parent fees and improves affordability.

2018 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget for Children’s Services is $551.561 million gross $80.584 million net representing a decrease of 0.1% to the 2017 Approved Operating Budget. The Program was able to meet the budget target from savings identified through the following measures:
    • Base expenditure reductions ($0.278 million).
    • Efficiency savings ($0.099 million).
    • Revenue changes ($5.821 million).
  • Staff complement will increase by 24.7 from 2017 to 2018.
  • The 2018 Preliminary Operating Budget provides funding for:
    • $7.803 million in additional funding to Child Care providers for the cost of purchased child care.
    • $1.976 million in additional administrative funding to manage system growth.
    • $5.821 million as a bridging strategy to reinstate Occupancy Grant funding to 4 school boards to cover the operating costs associated with child care programs.

Children’s Services provides high-quality licensed child care services across the City through 52 Early Learning and Child Care Centres (TELCC), with 25 in City owned facilities valued at $53.081 million, and through 1 home child care agency.

The primary focus of the 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan of $67.616 million is to leverage new Federal, Provincial and City funding to increase the capacity in the child care system by adding more physical spaces. Funding of $49 million will deliver 21 new child care centres adding 1,110 spaces over the 10-year period. The Capital Plan also dedicates substantial funding of $13.8 million to maintain the existing centres in a state of good repair.

In order to support the significant system growth through tri-government operating and capital investments in 2018, funding of $4.8 million is included for system upgrades to the existing information technology systems to develop new tools that will enhance on-line applications and business processes to improve operations and increase capacity.

The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan will provide savings in 2018 and in the future years’ Operating Budgets totalling $0.396 million net over the 2018 – 2027 period, derived from the completion of 2 information technology projects.

Where Does the Money Go?

The 2018 – 2027 Preliminary Capital Budget and Plan totalling $67.616 million provides funding of:

  • $49.041 million to continue the construction of 15 previously approved and 3 new child care centres, and the continuation of the Customer Service Improvements project, a technology project that will deliver operating efficiencies and customer service enhancements.
  • $13.811 million will reduce the state of good repair backlog and support ongoing maintenance in the City’s directly operated Early Learning and Child centres (TELCCs) located in the 25 City owned facilities.
  • $4.764 million in Growth related funding for the technology project, TCS Growing Child Care for Toronto that will provide new on-line applications for parents and operators, improve funds management, and enhance operational capacity to accommodate system growth.

Where Does the Money Come From?

The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan requires:

  • Debt funding of $15.029 million (22.2%), primarily for SOGR projects, which meets the debt guidelines for each year of the 10-year planning period.
  • Capital funding of $26.701 million (34.2%) from the Child Care Capital Reserve Fund, which includes support for 2 new Federally funded child care centres.
  • $16.631 million (24.6%) from Development Charges funding based on the portion of projects that are eligible for growth related funding.
  • Other Revenues of $9.255 million, which includes Sec 37 reserves ($2.491 million); and Provincial subsidy ($4.764 million); City’s 2018 capital investment in system growth ($2.000 million).

State of Good Repair Backlog

The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan’s spending on State of Good Repair is $13.811 million which will decrease the accumulated backlog from $4.620 million in 2018 to an anticipated $0.490 million by 2027. The SOGR backlog as a % of asset replacement value will decrease from 8.7% in 2018 to 0.9% by 2017 as a result of these planned investments.

Key Issues & Priority Actions

  • Licensed child care is not keeping pace with demand and serves less than 20% of the child population. The 10-Year Preliminary Capital Plan will:
    • Leverage Federal/Provincial and City funding to deliver 3 new child care centres at a cost of $12.9 million that will create 186 new spaces;
    • Deliver the new Capital Grants Program of $8.885 million to support renovations and new construction in non-profit and public sector child care centres to create 430 new spaces.
  • Deliver the TCS Growing Child Care for Toronto project for $4.764 million that will provide technical enhancements to the existing IT system to manage system-wide growth.

2018 Capital Budget Highlights

The 2018 Preliminary Capital Budget for Children’s Services of $18.567 million, excluding carry forward funding, will:

  • Deliver capital upgrades in the 25 municipally owned child care centers located in City-owned facilities ($1.473 million).
  • Begin design phase of 1 new child care centre (North East Scarborough Recreation Centre, $0.094 million) that will provide 62 new spaces.
  • Begin negotiations to deliver 3 new child care centres with Federal funding ($4.3 million) and City funding ($2.0 million) that will provide 186 new child care spaces.
  • Begin the development of the TCS Growing Child Care for Toronto IT project that will provide technical upgrades to the existing CSIS IT system, which will provide enhanced processes for parents, operators and upgrade administrative applications ($0.378 million).
  • Continue the construction of 14 previously approved child care centres that will deliver 689 new child care centres by 2020.

Children's Services 2018 Budget Infographic
Children’s Services Infographic