The City of Toronto says it is launching an opt-in process on Thursday for licensed daycare operators who want to join the $10-a-day child-care funding program announced recently by the Ontario and federal governments.
Under the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care funding program, the province has committed to delivering an average of $10-a-day child care for eligible children by September 2025.
“The City of Toronto supports all efforts to keep child-care fees affordable for families and we are proud to partner with the federal and provincial governments to help make licensed child care within reach for families in this city,” Mayor John Tory said in a news release on Wednesday.
The deadline for child-care operators to opt into the program is Thursday, Sept. 1, the city said in the release. Once a daycare program has applied and has been approved, the city said eligible families can expect child-care fees to be refunded retroactive to April 1.
All licensed programs in Toronto that serve children under six, or who turn six before Thursday, June 30, may apply to participate in the program to support fee reductions for eligible families, provided they meet requirements and the terms and conditions of the funding as determined by the province and approved by the city, the city said.
In addition, all licensed child-care programs may apply for workforce compensation supports for eligible staff under the program, the city said.
On March 28, the provincial and federal governments announced they had reached an agreement on the program. Since then, the city said it has been working on the application process and it has communicated with more than 1,000 child-care operators and home child-care agencies.
The city said it plans to send information to operators this summer through email, its website and information sessions it plans to organize.
The province has said it plans to take a phased approach over five years to achieve objectives under the program, including affordability, accessibility, a valued workforce, inclusion, and an enhanced data and reporting process.
A new website on the program contains information on eligibility requirements and details on upcoming information sessions for child-care operators. On Thursday, it will include an online application for licensed operators to enrol in the program.
“The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care … system will support quality, accessibility, affordability and inclusivity in early learning licensed child-care serving eligible children,” the city says on the new website.
“Key objectives include lowering child-care fees for eligible children, improving wages and increasing access to quality child-care programs.”