Ontario weakened its $10-a-day child care funding rules. Now the federal government is demanding answers
Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office and the Department of Finance have both released a public update on the federal government’s $10-a-day child care rules.
In May, the government’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and Early Learning, Lisa Thompson, issued a statement saying that she would look at proposals to increase the maximum number of hours and reduce the quality standards for child care, with a view to considering a new regulatory regime.
When it made its initial announcement in May, the department’s chief of staff also said that a review of the $10-a-day child care subsidy funding levels is expected by the fall.
Thompson’s initial comments drew criticism in both political parties and amongst the various child care and early learning sector associations that she could not even make up her mind about what the rules should be or what it would take to improve them.
“It’s always a challenge to reach consensus on any proposed reforms to the regulatory framework,” said Mary Pat Bonneau, president of the Ontario Early Years Association.
“We really have to make sure that we have a level playing field for those who want to provide affordable and high quality childcare.”
Thompson, however, continued to use the “emergency clause” — the government has the power to make recommendations even if parliament is prorogued — which is why she has said she will be consulting on a new regulatory regime, in “a timely manner.”
This week, the Liberals’ office released a press release about their updated rules:
Bill Morneau’s office has announced today the government is making major changes to the $10-a-day, family subsidy for child care. The government is introducing new rules that will help make child care more affordable and provide families who are not eligible for the family subsidy for their families more options. From November 1, 2016-April 30, 2017, the maximum subsidy for family child care will be lowered to $5,200 per child per day, instead of $10,000 per child per day. In addition, families that receive a subsidy above $10,000 will no longer be eligible for a subsidy until their income has exceeded $30,000 per year. Families that