School Board Report: What’s the state of ELCC in Ontario Schools?

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In 2022, the majority of Ontario’s child care centres (54%) were in public schools, far ahead of any other province.  Six out of ten of these centres in public schools are before-and-after-school programs exclusively serving children of kindergarten and school age.  This is not a surprise because schools in Ontario are mandated to provide before-and-after-school child care wherever it is feasible to meet the demand for it.  But about four out of ten of the child care centres in Ontario schools include younger children as well. 

Virtually all of these child care centres are operated by not-for-profit third-party providers.  There are also a small number of child care services that are directly operated by school boards.

This study has two main purposes:

  • The first is to examine the extent of alignment between schools and early learning and child care (ELCC) programs in Ontario – to judge whether child care merely cohabits with school classrooms or whether it has successfully been integrated.
  • The second is to ascertain, in a province moving towards universal affordable child care, what are the opportunities for expansion of child care services in schools and what are the key barriers that should be addressed.

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