Ontario child-care operators are fearing the worst.
With federal funding about to run out next year and no new commitments from Queen’s Park, as many as 22,000 child-care spaces could disappear — including up to 6,000 subsidized spots in Toronto.
There’s no crisis yet, municipalities say, but the lack of new money for child care in last week’s federal budget is making them nervous.
“We have a challenge in 2010,” said Toronto Coun. Janet Davis, chair of the city’s community development and recreation committee. “We are looking at all options to ensure we don’t lose any child care service in the city.”
With 14,000 Toronto families waiting for subsidized child care, the city can’t afford to lose a single spot, she added. Cuts, which city officials acknowledged could start as early as this fall, would be a last resort and occur through attrition.
All eyes are now on Premier Dalton McGuinty, who is preparing Ontarians for a budget deficit.