Ontario to invest $498M in 30 new schools, 26 renovations and 122 child care rooms

TORONTO — The province is investing $498 million into new and renovated schools and child care spaces across Ontario, with plans to begin work over the next few months.

Education Minister Liz Sandals said Monday the funding would lead to the creation of 30 new schools, 26 major additions and renovations and 122 licensed child care rooms, resulting in a total of 2,135 new licensed spaces for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

Six of the schools will be built in Toronto across the Toronto District School Board and the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

“This is part of our plan to invest more than $11 billion over 10 years … to help build more new schools in areas of high growth and also to improve the condition of existing schools,” Sandals said.

She added that the $498 million investment is in addition to $13.4 billion invested in school infrastructure since 2003.

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Sandals said the province is also hoping to make the adjustment from child care to full-day kindergarten easier for kids, by creating more of the licensed child care spaces at the same school locations.

“Our government is proud to invest in capital projects that are improving students’ learning environments and increasing access to quality licensed child care,” she said.

“These projects are bringing students and communities together — and in some cases reducing the cost of under-used space so we can reinvest savings back into the classroom.”

She said the new spaces are being built in areas where there is “significant demand” across the province in an attempt to reduce “surplus space” through school consolidations.

The investment comes after an April announcement of $120 million over three years in new funding for building more licensed child care spaces in schools across the province.

Since 2003, the number of licensed child care spaces in Ontario has grown by 87 per cent to almost 351,000.

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