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May 14, 2004
Parents, child care staff asked to lend voice to child care campaign
The City of Toronto is asking staff and parents associated with 800 child care
centres in Toronto to add their voice to its ongoing campaign for a new deal
for child care. Brochures distributed this week urge them to call their Member
of Provincial Parliament to say that Toronto families need licensed child care
and that the child care system needs help now.

The Government of Ontario, which has cut its annual funding of the Toronto
child care system by $11.8 million since 1999, will receive over $200 million
from the federal government this year for child care and other early learning

Inflation is squeezing child care operators' budgets and undermining their
ability to deliver needed services. No new subsidized child care spaces have
been created in Toronto since 1995. Currently, thousands of children are on the
waiting list for subsidized spaces.

"Without reliable, quality child care, many parents won't be able to go to work
or attend school and their children will lose the daily benefits of early
learning and play," said Councillor Janet Davis. "Child care in Toronto is in
crisis. The province needs to pass through Toronto's share of the federal
funding -- $9.6 million -- to prevent cutting spaces."

Starting in June, the City of Toronto stands to lose up to 1,300 subsidized
child care spaces due to under-funding. Almost 1,800 spaces have been lost
since 2002.

"Protecting the existing spaces is only the first step," said Davis. "We need
to address the needs of the thousands of families waiting for subsidized
childcare in Toronto."

The City currently serves 50,000 children through its licensed child care
centres. For almost 23,000 of those children, the City provides fee subsidies
so that they can receive quality, licensed child care.

Media contact:
Councillor Janet Davis, Ward 31 (Beaches-East York), 416 392-4035



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