Markham Today, Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP for Oak Ridges-Markham offered information from the recent Ontario Budget about child care. Ontario is making full-day licensed child care free for preschool children from the age of two-and-a-half until they are eligible to start kindergarten, beginning in 2020. Free preschool child care will save families an estimated $17,000 per child, allow parents to go back to work when they choose and help give children the best start in life.
Ontario’s new investment of $2.2 billion over three years will expand access to affordable child care for families in our riding, in York Region and across the province, ease the financial burden families are facing in our changing economy, and deliver free licensed child care for children from the age of two-and-a-half until kindergarten, beginning in 2020.
Early learning has been demonstrated to improve a child’s academic performance throughout their lives. Improved access to child care gives parents, especially women, more choice about when they return to work and will help Ontario close the gender wage gap. This historic change to the way child care is delivered in the province follows advice economist Dr. Gordon Cleveland put forward in his report Affordable For All: Making Licensed Child Care Affordable in Ontario, and is informed by an extensive in-person and online consultation process with thousands of parents, educators and child care professionals across Ontario.
Making full-day child care free for families with preschool-aged children is part of the government’s plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions and easier access to affordable child care.
“Investing in free childcare for our pre-school aged children gives families across York Region more financial security and peace of mind. Households will save an estimated $17,000 per child while giving parents the freedom to choose when to return to work. Accessible, high quality childcare also gives our children a great start in life.”
—Dr. Helena Jaczek, MPP Oak Ridges- Markham
“Free child care for preschool aged children is an incredible support for Ontario children and families. This historic commitment will save Ontario families thousands of dollars annually and give parents peace of mind. Ontario is committed to creating a high quality child care system that is accessible and affordable for all families. This major investment will build on the progress we’ve made with a made-in-Ontario solution that supports children and families. It's a historic investment that will benefit Ontario kids for generations.”
— Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister of Education and Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care
Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework
Office of Dr. Helena Jaczek
MPP Oak Ridges – Markham
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