Yesterday was the Province of Ontario’s deadline for licenced child care operators to participate in the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system. As of the Tuesday, November 1 provincial deadline, the City of Toronto received 979 responses from licenced child care operators, with 885 indicating their intent to opt-in and 94 operators indicating intent to opt-out.
In Toronto, 1,054 licenced child-care operators were eligible to opt-in or opt-out of CWELCC. This includes commercial, not-for-profit, public child care centres and licenced Home Child Care. Of the 1,054 operators, 311 are commercial centres, and 743 are not-for-profit or public centres. Approximately 84 per cent of the total child care centres have opted into CWELCC, and around nine per cent of child care centres have opted out, while seven per cent have yet to respond. Of the 25 Home Child Care Agencies, eight are commercial, and 17 are not for profit and public; in total, 22 – or 88 per cent – have opted in.
The City is responsible for directing payments for fee reimbursement and reductions to approved licenced child care operators who have opted into the CWELCC plan, as well as noting those who chose to opt-out of the system.
City staff continue actively review the applications of operators who have opted-in to CWELCC. Once applications are approved, CWELCC funding will be directed to the child care operator to be distributed to families at their locations for eligible children. The public is encouraged to contact their child care operator for questions about the status of CWELCC at their location.
The CWELCC system requires the creation of many new policies and procedures. City staff continue actively reviewing the applications of operators who have opted-in. For more information and questions about CWELCC in Toronto, please visit the City’s Canada-Wide Early Learning & Child Care – Information for Families webpage or call 311.
The CWELCC system will support quality, accessibility, affordability and inclusivity in early learning licenced child care serving eligible children. CWELCC agreements have been reached with all 13 provinces and territories, including an asymmetrical Quebec agreement.
On March 28, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario announced that a CWELCC funding agreement had been finalized. Ontario municipalities are working with the Province to implement this new model to fund child care.
The Province announced that 25 per cent of eligible child care fees would be reimbursed to families (retroactive to April 1, 2022) for the remainder of 2022 and by 50 per cent per year beginning Saturday, December 31. Future phases will see more reductions in child care fees, with a projected $10 average licenced child care fees for children age six and under by September 2025. CWELCC is based on principles of equity and inclusion, and all families in participating programs, including those with a fee subsidy, will benefit from CWELCC programs by 2025.
“The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care reimbursements will provide much needed financial support to Toronto families and is the first phase of a plan that will continue into 2025. City staff are diligently working to ensure that child care operators can be quickly approved into the program so that families can receive fee reimbursement and reductions.”
– Mayor John Tory
“This new funding system involves the implementation of different policies and procedures for both public and private child care operators, which will benefit families. Staff continue to work hard to support and coordinate with operators and the Province. We will continue to work with all those involved in the provision of child care to fully integrate it into their ongoing operations.”
– Shanley McNamee, General Manager, City of Toronto Children’s Services
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