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June 12, 2011
City of Toronto update on progress child care centre
City of Toronto staff will continue to meet with the Progress Child Care Centre board next week to help identify options so the centre can remain open. If the board ultimately decides to close the facility, City staff will provide direct assistance to affected families to help them secure child care services elsewhere.

City staff met with the board on Friday, and the board agreed to an audit of its financials starting on Monday, June 13. On Tuesday, staff from Toronto Children's Services will meet with the board to examine potential operational efficiencies.

The City learned about the severity of the financial situation at Progress last Thursday when a union official at the non-profit organization notified City staff that the centre may close as early as Friday, June 10. Prior to that, the City was aware the centre might have financial challenges and had offered operational guidance and advice to the centre, but these offers were declined by the board.

"Progress Child Care Centre received more than $1.3-million in funding from the City in 2010," stated Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti (Ward 7 York West), Chair of the City's Community Development and Recreation Committee. "This was in the form of subsidies for low income families, and staff wage subsidies." He also noted that the City does not have an emergency fund to address these types of situations. Since January of this year, Progress Child Care Centre has received almost $625,000 from the City of Toronto in funding including a $90,000 payment last week.

Progress Child Care Centre is a private, not-for-profit child care centre managed by its independent board. The centre is not managed by the City of Toronto. Its only affiliation with the City is that it, like 650 centres across Toronto, benefits from subsidies that assist low income parents to access childcare.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Media Contact
Elaine Baxter-Trahair
General Manager, Toronto Children's Services



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