The full interview with bonus material:
Northumberland County spends nearly $1.5 million supporting local daycare. This is on top of fees paid by parents. Despite the county’s contribution, daycare operators are struggling to stay open.
In this interview, Lesley Patterson, manager of Early Year service programs for Northumberland County, will talk about the funding crisis in daycare. Recently, operators across Ontario expressed concerns about possible closures of daycares due to a lack of funding from the province. It froze fees two years ago. This was all part of a federal/provincial plan to provide affordable daycare. The goal is to provide $10 per day daycare by 2025.
Patterson will explain what is going on in Northumberland. With the frozen fee structure, parents are paying a lot less. In some cases, it is now about half of what parents were paying before the freeze. But none of this pays for additional operational support, some capital projects, and other parental assistance. That is where the county comes in to help.
The lack of spaces compounds the situation. Nearly 1,500 families are currently on the waiting list.
Originally aired: Feb. 2, 2024