Licensed childcare facilities in the Greater Toronto Area are now able to apply for the Canada-wide $ 10-a-day program, bringing parents one step closer to their promised discount checks.
Ontario made a deal with the federal government for $ 10 a day child care back in March and promised that fees would be reduced by up to 25 percent to a minimum of $ 12 a day, with retroactive effect until April 1.
Parents, the province said at the time, would begin receiving rebate checks as soon as May.
But until this week, most of the childcare facilities in GTA have been unable to sign up for the program. Officials said they had to consult with authorized child care operators and set up an application process, which resulted in delays.
On Wednesday, the city of Toronto announced that it was finally ready to begin accepting applications for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care funding program.
The application process opens on June 23, and authorized childcare operators have until September 1 to sign up.
“Developing policies and the opt-in process for licensed childcare operators for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care funding program has been complex work, but I’m glad we’re at the point where we can begin the application process.” General Manager of Toronto Children’s Services, Shanley McNamme, said in a statement.
“I urge all authorized childcare providers to learn more about this funding and consider how it will support the families they serve.”
Eligible childcare operators must be licensed and should provide services to children under the age of six or to those who turn six from 30 June.
Further information on how to apply for the education can be found on the city’s website.
Once a facility is approved under the program, parents of children in day care will be sent their discount check.
The application process also opened in the York and Peel regions this week. Durham was the only region in the GTA that began accepting applications earlier.
Prior to this week, only 11 municipalities in Ontario had opened up applications for the program, and at least one expert said cities had to contend with an information vacuum under the joint agreement.
The $ 13.2 billion childcare program hopes to see fees reduced by 50 percent by January 1, 2023. Fees will continue to fall again in September 2024 before finally reaching $ 10 a day by the following year.
With files from Chris Fox