December 12th, 2016
Ontario is announcing an estimated $2.3-million investment to build three new licensed child care rooms and one Ontario Early Years Child and Family Centre room in Lakefield that will result in 49 new licensed child care spaces, as well as a dedicated space for early years programming for families.
The new child care rooms will be located in the new public elementary school in Lakefield, expected to open in 2017. With these new licensed child care spaces, children in Lakefield will have the opportunity to transition from child care into full-day kindergarten at the same location. The Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board is partnering with the City of Peterborough, YMCA of Central East Ontario and the Peterborough Family Resource Centre on this project.
Today’s announcement builds on the commitment the government made in the recent Speech from the Throne. Starting in 2017, Ontario will help to create another 100,000 new, licensed child care spaces for infants, toddlers and preschoolers within the next five years.
Approximately 20 per cent of 0-4 year olds in Ontario are currently in licensed child care. Research indicates that demand is much higher. Creating 100,000 new spaces will double capacity, creating spaces for about 40 per cent of children 0-4 years old. This investment will help people in their everyday lives by promoting early learning and development, and helping more parents find quality, affordable care.
The Associate Minister of Education (Early Years and Child Care) will be leading consultations over the fall and early winter with parents, communities and everyone who makes high quality child care possible in this province to inform the government’s five-year commitment and the broader policy framework that will underpin it.
Investing in new, licensed child care spaces is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario's history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
“Our government is investing in families by supporting a modernized child care and early years system with more capacity to care for our youngest learners. Adding more child care spaces in our community is an investment in our children, and an important step toward improving access to high-quality, licensed child care for all families.”
—Jeff Leal, MPP
“This is wonderful news for our board and for the community of Lakefield,” says Cathy Abraham, Chairperson, Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board. “We extend our sincere thanks to the province for making possible healthy child development and positive transitions for students to school.”
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