Niagara Child Care Experiences Funding Shortfall Despite Increased Allocations

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Despite receiving a substantial increase in funding, Niagara Region is concerned about the adequacy of its child-care services due to potential shortfalls this year. The St. Catherine’s Standard reports that while the region is set to receive nearly $8.3 million more from the province, a significant portion of this funding will be used to offset the cost of reducing child-care fees for parents to $10 per day as part of the CWELCC program. However, despite the increase in total allocation, the base funding for child-care operations from the province has actually been reduced. Provincial policy changes have resulted in decreased administration funding for the program and increased cost-sharing for administrative expenses, posing challenges for program operators, particularly in light of rising inflation and costs of essentials like rent and utilities. Additionally, municipalities, including Niagara Region, are expected to conduct value-for-money audits using reduced administrative funds, prompting concerns about the sustainability of the program. The Standard reports that as a response, the committee has recommended asking the province for a one-time transitional grant to alleviate the additional financial burdens faced by the program.

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