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Child Care Advocates Persist in Pushing for Stalled Projects

Child care advocates are urging the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) to continue advocating for additional funding from the province to facilitate the construction of 28 approved child-care centers within TDSB schools. In an article online (paywalled), The Trillium reports that many of these projects have been in limbo for over five years due to financial constraints and the rising costs of construction. The TDSB has pledged to allocate $14 million from its proceeds of disposition funding for priority projects, but the province has only agreed to a 25% increase in funding – an offer that falls short of covering the total project costs, with an estimated additional $100 million required. TDSB staff have produced a report stating there is a risk that these projects may not proceed, leaving families in high-needs neighbourhoods without access to licensed child care, particularly in areas like Scarborough and Northwest Etobicoke where only 18-30% of families have such access.

Similar challenges are faced by other school boards like the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) and the Peel District School Board (PDSB), with numerous approved child-care projects awaiting funding.

Advocates, including former Toronto city councillor Janet Davis, urged the TDSB to “develop a plan to immediately proceed to build as many highest priority centres as possible, seek additional financing from other funding partners to complete all 28 approved projects, and engage with all affected school communities to achieve this.”

However, without further support or a middle ground from the provincial government, school boards risk being unable to proceed with these essential child-care projects, despite continued demand and funding needs within the child-care system.

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