The city of Ottawa says 94 per cent of licensed child care service providers have signed on to the $10-a-day child care program, providing financial relief to the parents of 21,000 children.
Tuesday was the deadline for child care providers to register for the new Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care system, with the ultimate goal of reducing child care costs to $10-a-day over four years. Municipalities must enrol licensed centres and agencies into the new system and distribute funding to reduce fees.
In a memo to council Wednesday afternoon, Ottawa’s Director of Children’s Services Jason Sabourin said as of Nov. 1, 140 centre-based licensed child care service providers and 15 home-based centres had registered for the program.
“Approximately 21,000 eligible children will benefit this year from a fee reduction of up to 25 per cent, retroactive to Friday, April 1, 2022,” Sabourin said.
“For 2023, funding will be provided to reduce parent fees by a further 37 per cent to a floor of $12 per day equating to an average of 50 per cent fee reduction based on 2020 average fees.”
Sabourin says a family currently paying $74 per day in child care fees for their 18 month old will see a refund of approximately $3,500, retroactive to April 1, 2022.
Under the program, fees will be reduced by 25 per cent as of April 1 of this year and by 50 per cent as of Jan. 1, 2023. Fees will be reduced to $10-a-day by 2025-26.
Child care providers must notify their families and staff about their intent to enrol to the Canada-wide system by Nov. 1. The city says service providers are required to provide rebates or credits to families within 20 calendar days of receiving funding from Children’s Services.