How intense pressure from for-profit daycares has transformed Ontario’s rollout of $10-a-day child care — and sparked a political standoff
As the government moved to introduce its $10-a-day child care program, for-profit companies promised to provide the government with information on how their daycares were operating.
The provincial Liberals planned to announce details of the program next week. At the government news conference in March, they were joined by three for-profit companies: Early Learning Education Services of Canada, Inc. of Mississauga; Learning Unlimited Educational Services of Toronto; and Learning Unlimited of Guelph.
The government promised to make the data gathered by the companies public, and it’s what the Liberals introduced on Monday.
But after the announcement, the government didn’t receive the promised data, and the province is now suing them.
The Liberals argued the data won’t be necessary because all six of their daycares are already publicly assessed, publicly reported and subject to a review process overseen by the ministry of education.
“We know the data that is being collected will show where there are problems and we will move to fix those,” said Lisa MacLeod, the ministry’s lead on child care.
“We will work with the for-profit companies to find a way to get the data that is necessary,” MacLeod said, without elaborating.
But the government’s lawyer, Jeff Light, said the program will “create a huge problem for all parents who rely on daycare.”
“It is not a good solution,” he told the Star.
Ontario is facing a shortage of skilled child care providers in the wake of the government’s $10-a-day childcare program.
For the first time, parents who work in full-time jobs and have children under the age of five can receive an extra $15 a day per child, regardless of their income level, under the government’s child care program.
The Liberals’ government launched the child care program in April to allow families like the Blosky-Coates family to receive government-funded child care for the first time.
Samantha Blosky, the wife of Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney, had been considering whether to return to work to care for