Approximately 84 per cent of the licenced childcare centres in Toronto opted into the federal government’s $10 a day program ahead of the deadline for applications on Tuesday.
The city says that it received responses from 979 of its 1,054 licenced operators by the deadline.
Of those who submitted paperwork to the city, 885 indicated their intent to opt into the program while 94 indicated their intent to opt out.
That would suggest a significant uptake in the final two weeks of the application period, with an additional 84 centres making the decision to opt in.
Dozens of centres, however, failed to indicate their intent one way or another by the deadline, despite a requirement to do so.
Under the terms of the program, parents in participating centres will now receive a rebate for 25 per cent of the fees that they have paid, retroactive to April.
Fees will then be further discounted by an additional 37 per cent in December.
That, in turn, will mean that parents in participating centres will be paying 50 per cent less than they were just a few months ago.
“The Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care reimbursements will provide much needed financial support to Toronto families and is the first phase of a plan that will continue into 2025,” Mayor John Tory said in a press release accompanying the final statistics. “City staff are diligently working to ensure that child care operators can be quickly approved into the program so that families can receive fee reimbursement and reductions.”
The province had initially given operators until Sept. 1 to apply to be part of the program but ultimately pushed the deadline back by two months in an attempt to get hesitant centres to sign up.
It also recently committed to ensuring revenue for licensed child-care operators remains unchanged through 2023 in response to concerns about a lack of transparency around future years of the program.
In its release, the city said that it is continuing to “actively review” the applications of operators who have submitted their intentions to opt in to the program.
The city says that as applications are approved, funding will be provided directly to operators, who will be responsible for providing rebates to parents.
CP24.com has reached out to other Greater Toronto Area municipalities for final opt-in numbers and will update this story as the data is provided.