Almost 20,000 Toronto tots waiting for child-care subsidies

A record 19,817 Toronto children are waiting for daycare subsidies while the city scrambles to keep its chronically underfunded system afloat with unused money from all-day kindergarten. It is a situation akin to “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic,” said Jane Mercer of the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care. The city’s recovering economy, high cost of living and a new generation of young educated women entering the workforce are putting new pressure on the city’s daycare waiting list, she said. “We don’t have a child-care system. We don’t have a plan. We are literally flying by the seat of our pants,” said Mercer who wants Queen’s Park and Ottawa to act. A staff report being discussed at city hall Wednesday says Toronto is shifting about $760,000 in unused all-day kindergarten funds to child care. But instead of helping to ease the exploding subsidy waiting list, the money will go into the city’s child-care reserves to shore up the existing system.

Publication Date: 
June 28, 2011
Journal Name: 
The Toronto Star