Most of GTA now accepting applications for $10-a-day childcare

Licensed childcare facilities in the Greater Toronto Area are now able to apply for the Canada-wide $10-a-day program, bringing parents one step closer to their promised rebate cheques.

Ontario inked a deal with the federal government for $10-a-day childcare back in March and promised that fees would be reduced by up to 25 per cent to a minimum of $12 per day, retroactive to April 1.

Parents, the province said at the time, would start receiving rebate cheques as soon as May.

But until this week most childcare facilities in the GTA have been unable to sign up for the program. Officials said they needed to consult with licensed childcare operators and create an application process, resulting in delays.

On Wednesday, the City of Toronto announced it was finally ready to start accepting applications for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care funding program.

The application process will open on June 23 and licenced child-care operators will have until Sept. 1 to opt in.

“Developing policies and the opt-in process for licensed child care operators for the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care funding program has been complex work, but I am excited that we are at the point where we can begin the application process,” General Manager of Toronto Children’s Services Shanley McNamme said in a statement.

“I encourage all licensed childcare providers to learn more about this funding and consider how it will support the families they serve.”

Eligible childcare operators must be licenced and should provide services for children under the age of six, or to those turning six as of June 30.

Further information about how to apply for the program can be found on the city’s website.

Once a facility has been approved under the program, parents of children at the daycare will be sent their rebate cheque.

The application process also opened in York and Peel regions this week. Durham was the only region in the GTA to start accepting applications earlier.

Before this week, only 11 municipalities in Ontario had opened up applications for the program, with at least one expert saying cities had to contend with an information vacuum following the joint agreement.

The $13.2 billion childcare program hopes to see fees reduced by 50 per cent by Jan. 1, 2023. Fees will continue to drop again in September 2024 before finally reaching $10 a day by the following year.

WIth files from Chris Fox

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