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Monday, July 10, 2017

New funding gives more families access to child care

New funding gives more families access to child care

More than $5.9 million in new provincial funding will mean more families in Waterloo Region can access and afford licensed child care. The Region recently received a total of $5,964,335 from the Province as part of its Child Care Expansion Plan. More than $2.2 million of that total is part of the Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, a federal-provincial bilateral agreement.

“Our service plan identifies the need to improve access to affordable, high quality early learning and child care for families over the next four years,” said Children’s Services Director Barb Cardow. “It is a priority parents shared with us and this funding will help us address that.”

The new money will be used to:

• Help hundreds of families afford child care by eliminating the wait list for subsidy.

• Add three infant child care spaces to the Elmira Children’s Centre. This is the only licensed child care program in Woolwich that offers infant spaces.

• Increase access to child care for children with special needs.

• Provide new operating funding for new child care programs in four local schools by December of 2018.

• Increase efforts to recruit more licensed home child care providers.

Regional Council approved the allocation of the new funding last week. With this and other increased funding, the total Children’s Services budget for 2017 is $57.0 million.

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