Ontario Extends $10/Day Child Care Enrollment Deadline for More Operators to Apply

Ontario is extending the deadline for child care operators to apply for the $10-a-day program and standardizing the process in a bid to get more providers to sign up.

The Canadian Press obtained a letter sent today to municipalities informing them that the deadline will be extended from September 1 to November 1 to allow operators more time to make decisions and ensure more parents can see the savings.

Many child care operators, particularly for-profit ones, have said they want to sign up for reimbursement to parents, but are unsure about the implications for their business and have expressed concern that each municipality has a different process.

Ontario is now telling municipalities that they must share an example of a standard agreement with all licensed operators in their region by August 29.

A senior government source says operators who have already opted out will be able to reconsider their decision in light of the changes and opt out if they wish.

The province also says in the letter that municipalities and operators must execute an agreement within 30 calendar days of request, rather than 60, and then provide refunds to parents within 20 calendar days of request. receipt of funding by the child care center.

The government says that despite the extended deadline, parents will still see savings of an average of 50 percent by December 31, as originally planned.

Just a few weeks before September, acceptance varies widely between municipalities, and in some, particularly smaller areas, all or nearly all operators apply, while in other regions less than half of operators apply until the moment.

In Toronto, the largest region, 587 of a total of 1,042 licensed child care centers have applied to participate, and 32 have opted out, although the percentage of for-profit operators that have applied is much lower than the of those who are not. -Profits.

About a third of eligible for-profit centers have already applied, compared to two-thirds of nonprofits. There are 19 for-profit centers that have decided to opt out and 13 non-profit organizations that have opted out.

York Region has received 240 subscription requests from its 557 providers, although it has seen a higher percentage of for-profit than non-profit adoption. Ten have chosen not to participate.

In Dufferin County, out of 13 operators, one opted in and the other opted out.

Meanwhile, in municipalities like Manitoulin-Sudbury and Kawartha Lakes, all carriers have either applied or indicated they will, and in Thunder Bay, 18 of 21 carriers have applied or said they will.

In the Peel region, west of Toronto, most operators have expressed interest in joining the program, but some have complained about the process, which asks them to submit an “expression of interest” before getting details.

Implementation of the program in Ontario has been different from other provinces in part because child care is funded through municipalities, rather than directly by the province, experts say. Some child care advocates have raised concerns that municipalities appeared to negotiate agreements on a center-by-center basis, rather than having a standard set of terms.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 16, 2022.

This is breaking news. More to come.

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