When New Brunswick agreed to the federal government’s offer of $10-a-day daycare, it was the nation’s leader in spending per child. If Ontario says no to the same formula, one critic says it may not be the only province to go along. “They get to renege on it because they feel like they can,” said David Veilleux, executive director of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies, which represents some 70 child-welfare agencies. “As soon as the money is gone, they get to take the pot.”
Ontario will not have to follow New Brunswick’s lead and set aside money for children’s care. But a new study says it may well have to give up money it can otherwise spend on other things to cover the bill. If Ontario doesn’t implement the $10-a-day plan, within three years of the program’s take-off, “nearly 1,000 families will have to downgrade their child care arrangements,” the study said. The OACAS’s Veilleux said he doubts Ontario would admit defeat.
A daycare provider in Toronto and a co-chairman of the federal government’s advisory council on daycare, Lisa McLeod, told a Toronto radio station on Monday that she worries that under the proposed Quebec-style program children will no longer get quality care. Mr. Veilleux has a different view. “I don’t see any way for Ontario’s children to be adequately served under this proposal.”