Ontario Signed on to National Child Care Agreement

The Child Care and Early Years Division of the Municipality of Chatham-Kent is very pleased to share the following information:

Monday, March 28, 2022, marked a historical day for child care centres, families, and the overall economy in Chatham-Kent (and across Canada), as Ontario signed on to a $13.2 billion agreement with the federal government on funding for a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care program.

What does this mean for Chatham-Kent?

The child care deal is expected to have significant impacts on families in Chatham-Kent by reducing child care fees to an average of $10 per day by September 2025. Beginning in May 2022 fees will be reduced by an average of 25% retroactive to April 1, 2022, with an additional 25% reduction by the end of 2022.

This agreement will provide financial relief for all families who are currently paying up to $55 a day for child care in some cases.

It will also provide opportunities for an increase in licensed child care spaces, allowing more parents to enter the workforce, plus Improved compensation for staff working in licensed child care will emphasize the value of their work. These changes will result in more Chatham-Kent children thriving in inclusive quality child care and early learning environments, having more opportunities to reach their full potential.   

Since the announcement, the Chatham-Kent Child Care and Early Years team immediately began laying out the first steps of the planning and logistics that will go into bringing this new reality forward in Chatham-Kent. We are concentrating our efforts in alignment with Ontario’s plan, which is based on five pillars:

Improved affordability: Reduction in Child Care Fees in phases: April 2022, December 2022, and September 2024, reaching an average of $10-a-day child care by September 2025.

Improved access: Creating 86,000 new, high-quality child care spaces across Ontario.

Sustaining high-quality services: Higher pay for Registered Early Childhood Educators (RECEs), and supporting the recruitment of more RECEs into the field.

Inclusion: supporting the needs of diverse and underserved populations, including low-income, francophone, Indigenous, Black, other racialized and newcomer communities, as well as vulnerable and special needs children.

Enhanced data and reporting: Better evaluation and identification of sector performance for continual improvement.

“This funding will benefit families in Chatham-Kent, providing greater affordability and access to child care. More importantly, they will receive quality child care, which is critical for children to learn and thrive. We look forward to working closely with the Province and our community partners to transform child care in our municipality,” said Kelly Emery, Director of Child Care, Early Years and Recreation Services.

The Child Care and Early Years division will be working closely with Indigenous and Francophone partners to ensure we have an inclusive engagement process. We value open communication and transparency and will share information with our community partners and the public regularly, as plans are confirmed and changes occur.

Updates will also be posted on www.chatham-kent.ca/childcare.

For more information contact:

Kelly Emery
Director, Child Care/Early Years/Recreation Services
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
519-351-1228 x 2130