YMCA of Greater Toronto Responds to City of Toronto 2017 Budget Changes to Child Care

February 06, 2017

Dear Mayor Tory and Members of Council,

The YMCA is one of the largest providers of non-profit licensed child care in the City of Toronto, with more than 7,600 licensed spaces, 2,500 of which are subsidized spaces. We value our relationship with the City and applaud your commitment to ensuring the best start for all children. Part of this is a commitment to high quality licensed child care – a commitment that the YMCA shares.

YMCA GTA Syrian Refugee response

We were pleased to learn that the 2017 City Budget proposes funding for an additional 300 subsidized spaces, which are critically needed for lower income families to provide their children with safe, high quality environments for early learning and development. Given the current size of the subsidy waiting list, this is a small but important step.

We would also like to thank you for reversing the proposal to discontinue funding for the occupancy costs in some Toronto District School Board schools. We currently support children and families through our licensed child care in 67 schools throughout Toronto. Many of these schools are in areas of the city where the need for accessible and affordable child care is especially high. If occupancy funding had been removed, it would have increased the cost of child care for all families and most negatively impacted those that are not eligible for subsidy.

Affordability is already a critical issue for many families, especially for those that do not qualify for subsidy. We recognize that funding support for child care is a shared responsibility. We are hopeful that the municipal, provincial and federal governments’ shared commitment to child care will address the affordability and accessibility issues in a more permanent and substantial manner. Public investment in a comprehensive early learning and child care system can have a transformative effect: building the economy, supporting families and helping children get off to their best start.

We are pleased to work together with all partners to improve access to what is a critical issue for many families.

Sincerely,

Linda Cottes,
Senior Vice-President, Child and Family Development
YMCA of Greater Toronto