BRAMPTON, ON. (Jan. 25, 2011) – When considering options for child care, parents and caregivers want only the best for their child. But for many families choosing child care often starts with asking, “What can we afford?”
Peel’s early learning and child care partners believe child care and early learning is a right for all children – regardless of family income, location or special needs. The challenge in Peel and many other Ontario municipalities is that there are insufficient child care spaces and subsidies available to meet the demand.
Success By 6 Peel is one of the partner organizations advocating for Ontario to create a high quality early learning and child care system that provides easy access to these services for all children.
“The Fair Share Task Force reports that Peel receives the lowest per-capita funding for child care in the province, 43 per cent less than the provincial average,” said Marilyn Dumaresq, Director, Success By 6 Peel. “This makes it even more difficult for parents who need a subsidy to have reasonable access to high quality child care.”
Only about 20 per cent of Peel children aged zero to four are accommodated by Peel’s 24,000 licensed child care spaces. This means most families rely on unlicensed care. Although informal caregivers – such as neighbours, family members and nannies – are subject to the Day Nurseries Act, they are not monitored by any regulatory body.
The Region and its community partners have worked hard to improve the quality of care and standards in the sector. For example, Raising the Bar in Peel is an accreditation process for licenced early learning and child care providers that enhances quality assurance, best practices and professional development. This information assists families when looking for high quality early learning and child care services.
Ontario Early Years Centres are an excellent resource for parents and informal caregivers. There are eight Centres in Peel offering in programs and activities for children and families, as well as information about other local services. For locations in Peel, visit www.peelearlyyears.com.
Things to consider when choosing a child care provider
When researching child care options, parents should ask questions about:
- A caregiver’s training and references
- Age appropriate programming
- Daily routines
- Subsidy availability (for licensed spaces)
“We support parental choice and work with our community partners to ensure that parents have access to the right resources to make an informed decision about their family and child care needs. We also work with our community partners across the Region to advocate for more quality child care that all families can access,” said Janet Menard, Commissioner of Human Services at the Region of Peel.
Of utmost importance, children need to be comfortable with their caregivers and parents need to be satisfied with the care their child is receiving. Information is available to help guide parents in their search. Learn more about other important questions to ask a caregiver and how to find formal and informal child care in your area by contacting the following resources:
Peel’s Child Care System – Current Demand
- 24,000 licensed care spaces available (this addresses only 20 per cent of child care space needs
in the region)
- 4,800 in licensed care receive subsidies
- Wait list for subsidy stands at 2,500 and growing
- 450 formal (licensed) child care programs (includes 10 licensed home care agencies serving about 2,000 children)