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May 10, 2019

Roman Baber, MPP

539 Wilson Heights Blvd.
Downsview, ON M3H 2V7

Dear Mr. Baber,

On April 18 , the Province of Ontario announced changes to the funding formula for child

care in the City of Toronto. These changes were enacted without consultation, and are
retroactive, beginning April 1, 2019 – weeks before the City was informed of the cuts and
weeks after the City's budget was finalized on March 7th.

Based on information we have received from Children’s Services and the City Manager, the
changes will result in an $84.8 million cut to the Child Care budget in 2019. The retroactive,
in-year nature of these cuts would amount to the cancellation of 6,166 subsidies for
families who cannot afford quality child care.

Affordable and accessible child care is essential to help parents re-enter the workforce and
stimulate the economy. Without quality child care that all citizens can afford, more new
mothers and fathers will be forced to stay at home, depend on social assistance and strain
the labour market.

The cost of child care in Toronto is significantly higher than in the rest of the Province. The
median annual cost of quality child care in Toronto is $35,430 for an infant and a preschool
aged child. As you know, many residents in your riding could not afford to cover these costs
without assistance. Reducing the allocation to Toronto’s child care funding will force more
families to make hard choices about the future of their children.

Recently, Education Minister Lisa Thompson suggested that the cuts to child care funding
to Toronto could be absorbed through reductions in administration costs. I support
ensuring that as much money as possible dedicated to child care flows directly to families


and providers, rather than to unnecessary bureaucracy. This is why the City has kept
administrative costs below the established threshold relative to overall spending and will
continue to find savings in administration. However, the argument that all of the savings
can be found in administrative efficiencies is a red herring. This Government’s decision will
force a reduction in tens of millions of dollars in subsidies that go directly to families across
the city.

I commend the Province on creating a new Child Care Tax Credit to help cover the burden
of these expenses for parents. However, the new CARE tax credit provides only a fraction of
the value compared with a subsidy. Parents who do not receive a City- administered
subsidy as a result of these cuts and who only have the tax credit to defray the costs of child
care, could be left with tens of thousands of dollars of expenses with no access to a fee
subsidy to assist and may well end up not being able to "afford" to work.

We know that the current supply of child care subsidies does not meet the demand.
At this point there are more than 13,000 children on the City’s waitlist for a subsidy. This
number will grow if the City is forced to cut back on the number of children it can help.

In your riding of York Centre there are:

 1,075 subsidized child care spaces that are now in jeopardy of being severely
curtailed or cancelled, and;
 597 children on a waitlist for subsidies.

I know that the residents of York Centre depend on high quality affordable child care. As a
result, I am asking you as a member of the Government caucus to request that the Minister
of Education reverse this decision, and restore funding to families in need of affordable,
accessible child care.

I have repeatedly offered to have City officials sit down with representatives of your
Government to discuss our shared responsibility for child care and try to identify possible
ways we can do things better. That offer stands.

In the meantime, I believe many of your residents will be looking to you for leadership on
reversing these unilateral, retroactive acts, especially because no one sought or received a
mandate in the election to cut child care.

I would be happy to discuss this issue at any time


John Tory
Mayor of Toronto