How intense pressure from for-profit daycares has transformed Ontario’s rollout of $10-a-day child care — and sparked a political standoff over the $28.4-billion province-wide child-care budget.
In a new analysis, the Star reveals how Ontario’s Liberal government is relying on for-profit child care providers to meet the government’s target of creating 30,000 new spaces by 2019 and growing to 50,000 by 2022.
For the first time, the Star has analyzed ministry data, and has found that the Liberal government has failed to provide key information, as required by the province’s Human Resources and Skills Development Act (HRSA) and the Child Care and Early Years Act (CCEEYA).
The Star is revealing the existence of an online spreadsheet compiled by ministry bureaucrats to help the Liberals “to understand the status of for-profit centres as they work to meet their targets.”
An analysis of ministry data by the Star and its partner newspaper, the Hamilton Spectator, found a shocking lack of data about child care providers.
The ministry says it did provide data to the Star on a voluntary basis from seven for-profit centres, but did not provide the required “performance measures.”
The ministry also did not provide information on the numbers of children in the child care that was provided by the facilities.
The ministry also did not provide information on whether the centres complied with the ministry’s eligibility standards, or if they are operating in accordance with any provincial laws.
As for the government’s $28.4-billion child-care plan, data provided to the Star and Spectator indicated that there are fewer than 5,000 children in child care, which is below the 6,948 targeted for-profit child care centres.
While ministry data indicates there are 6,948 children in for