QUEEN'S PARK — The Ontario NDP's Childcare critic Bhutila Karpoche (Parkdale—High Park) released this statement in response to a new report by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) showing that many child care providers in Canada are in financial crisis, with Ontario facing the worst drop in enrolment:
"Ontario's child care sector was struggling due to government underfunding before COVID-19, and this report confirms the dire financial straits centres have faced during the pandemic, with drops in enrolment of up to two-thirds in the first wave alone.
The report is very clear: Canadian child care centres that are able to offer lower parent fees because of provincial funding have held their own during the pandemic.
Yet Ontario continues to have the highest fees in Canada, with chronic underfunding by the Liberals and now the Ford Conservatives leaving the sector to rely on massive parent fees to stay afloat — an unfair and untenable model, as the financial burden of COVID-19 on so many families has forced them to pull their little ones.
The Ford government must step in now and provide stable funding to the sector before it's too late, so child care centres can keep their lights on and retain staff.
Economic recovery for women and for society in general won't be possible without the expansion of more affordable, high-quality public and non-profit child care. The NDP will continue to fight for that."