Transforming child care with new federal funding and Regional system plan1 min readReading Time: 1 minute
On March 28, 2022, the Government of Ontario signed the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which will improve the affordability of child care as part of Canada’s national program.
The $13.2 billion child care deal is expected to have significant impacts on families in Waterloo Region by reducing child care fees to an average of $10 per day by September 2025. Beginning in May 2022 fees will be reduced by an average of 25 per cent retroactive to April 1, 2022, with an additional 25 per cent reduction by the end of 2022.
This announcement follows the launch of the Region’s Early Years and Child Care (EYCC) System Plan, 2022-2026, which will support the creation of a vibrant, inclusive, and high-quality EYCC system and world-class community for children and families.
“High-quality, licensed child care is necessary for the well-being of all children,” said Barb Cardow, Director of Children’s Services at the Region of Waterloo. “In addition, child care must be accessible and affordable for every family. We know there is much more work to be done to reach these goals. With this System Plan, we are well-prepared to move forward, working alongside our community partners.”
To develop the System Plan, Children’s Services engaged with more than 3,000 parents, EYCC organizations and community partners. In addition to extensive consultation, research and data examining socio-economic trends, EYCC programs, policies and early learning best practices were considered.
The System Plan addresses access, affordability, quality, equity, and responsiveness. It outlines seven strategic priorities and 29 actions aligned to the needs of the community. An implementation and performance measurement framework will be developed in the coming months.
By working with community partners and taking a strategic approach, the Region will work to ensure that this is a community where all children can thrive.