New reforms will make before and after school programs more accessible
Our PC government firmly believes that parents deserve affordability and choice in child care. Yet, for many families, access to affordable programs are limited.
To that end, we are making regulatory amendments that support working families, improve the child care and early years sector, and advance the province’s dual priorities of affordability and accessibility for parents.
Currently, authorized before and after school programs — delivered by non-profits like the Boys and Girls Club — are restricted to operating no more than 3 hours per day. Our changes to child care regulations will make child care more affordable and easier to access for parents, while also improving safety for children, and reducing red tape for child care operators. Specifically, the amendments, which take effect on March 8, 2021, will:
- Exempt certain authorized recreational providers, at their request, from their three-hour operating limit, improving access to select before and after school programs for families with school-age children, so that schedules can work better for the working parents of Ontario.
- Enhance existing COVID-19 health and safety protections in licenced child care settings, such as requirements to support contact tracing by local public health, new requirements for home-based child care and updates to the safe storage of potentially poisonous and hazardous items.
- Reduce regulatory/administrative burden on child care operators by removing redundant and unnecessary requirements for all providers.
These important reforms will help ensure working parents — with a focus on women — can return to the workforce as we look towards recovery from the pandemic. Our PC government will continue to advance affordable childcare, including through the Child Care Tax Credit, and supporting choice with over 16,000 new spaces created last year alone.