#KathleenWynne, #CharlesSousa, #Indira Naidoo-Harris, #freechildcareforpreschoolers, #GordonCleveland
Ottawa, Mar 28 (Canadian-Media): Premier Kathleen Wynne, Finance Minister Charles Sousa and Education Minister Indira Naidoo-Harris unveiled the $2.2-billion dollar initiative on Tuesday at a school in Toronto to offer free child care for thousands of preschoolers across the province starting in 2020, media reports said.
This new program reportedly pledges to fund the cost of licensed child care for full-day starting once children turn two-and-a-half until they become eligible for full-day kindergarten.
In Ontario, kids are eligible for junior kindergarten in the calendar year they turn four, and senior kindergarten the year they turn five.
“No more anxiety about costs … The freedom to choose when it’s time for mom or dad to go back to work. This is a big change,” Wynne said. “We’re playing the long game here, folks. This is the investment in the people of this province...and give every child the very best start or go backwards and cut programs that are making a real difference at a time when families need more support. That’s the choice that we’re facing right now.”
The government said the free child-care program was developed after consultations with parents and educators and on the advice of economist Gordon Cleveland.
This announcement, made the day before the government tables its final budget ahead of the June election is estimated to save families reportedly $17,000 a year.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)