Ontario Liberals pledge $10/day child care, free tuition for child-care workers in new plan

Saskatchewan recently signed an agreement with the Liberals to bring $10-a-day child care to the province, but the outcome of the federal election could change that. Files / Global News

If the Liberals get elected next year, they have big plans for parents across Ontario.

In the party’s Care for Every Child in Ontario plan, they are aiming to bring universal $10/day child care, including daycare, and before and after school care.

In Kingston, the Liberals say they will bring child care costs down by 80 per cent and aim to create 1,200 new spaces in the city.

“The best way to build lasting prosperity is to help parents stay or re-enter the workforce and give children the best start in life,” says Ontario Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca.

“Every family in Ontario, regardless of the kind of care they choose for their child, will be better off because of our plan.”

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In order to staff these new spaces, the Liberals are going to encourage more people to join the workforce as early childhood educators.

“We’re going to do that by providing free college tuition for the early childhood educator program,” says Del Duca.

“We’re going to make it so much more affordable for someone to pursue their studies to become an early childhood educator.”

Funding for this plan will largely be coming from a $3.2-billion fund from the federal government and is accessible to provinces that are willing to partner with the Trudeau government.

An additional $1 billion will come from the province to fund the program. Ontario is currently projecting a $38.5-billion deficit by the end of this year, and as fallout from the pandemic appears inevitable, that number is expected to climb.

But Del Duca says this new plan won’t affect the deficit.

“Doug Ford’s government has already said they’re not interested in delivering on this type of child-care plan, and what means is that they’re going to leave $3.2 billion on the table,” he says.

“They will not be able to access that federal funding that’s already been established and put in place, and, to me, that makes no sense.”

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The Liberals also plan to enhance the 18-month parental leave program and enhance the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit by 50 per cent.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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