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July 28&29, 2012

Councillor Paul Ainslie
Outraged About Lack of Child Care funding in the Provincial budget
Scarborough - Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 43 Scarborough East) attended a "Post-Budget" Breakfast this morning in Scarborough East to listen to Scarborough M.P.P.'s perspectives on the provincial budget released yesterday by Finance Minister Dwight Duncan. Councillor Ainslie raised his concerns over the lack of child care funding in the provincial budget. "In these tough economic times, parents need to know they can count on their child care provider so they can carry on with their employment," Councillor Ainslie commented. One of the Liberal M.P.P.'s replied that the Province was aware of the $60 million shortfall in funding and was presently reviewing the issue. It was noted that the amount of funding was
not sizeable and that a resolution would be shortly announced.
This raises concerns. Thursday's Provincial budget did not specifically mention any funding for subsidized child care. It only called for the federal government to reconsider its termination of the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, and initiate new funding measures to support child care. Councillor Ainslie believes that this falls far short of what is needed. It places the City of Toronto in a position with no clear commitment from either the federal or provincial government.
This lack of a funding commitment by both levels of government beyond March 31, 2010 under the Best Start program could have the City of Toronto faced with lack of finances for 24,000 subsidized child care spaces, at a time when even more spaces are needed."I find it unforgiving that the Province could leave this one issue hanging" Councillor Ainslie noted. "Families are concerned about keeping their jobs which requires them to make long term plans for child care; this only throws in another issue for families to worry about. We really do need to start putting our children first, which means families first." Councillor Ainslie also commented that "If governments truly understand how the economic shift is affecting families, then, it is time for them to make long term funding commitments, to such programs as child care, so that families may carry on with their daily responsibilities and plan for their futures." The City of Toronto is continuing to seek provincial commitment for adequate child care funding and to maintain the existing approved service level of 24,000 subsidized child care spaces.

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