'We're crunching the numbers': City of London over child care funding
Changes to provincial funding for subsidized child care has London taking a hard look at the numbers
Staff at London City Hall are trying to calculate just how provincial funding changes will impact subsidized child care in the city.
The changes include a new cost sharing system for expansion funding. It was 100 per cent in the past but is now an 80/20 cost relationship, according to Paul D'Hollander, Neighbourhood Operations Manager for the city. That 20 per cent is worth millions.
There's also been a reduction in the administrative funding allocated to the city for child care. It's gone from as much as 10 per cent down to 5 per cent. And, there's now a 50/50 cost sharing with the province on some administrative expenses.
"So we're crunching the numbers to understand the magnitude of that," said D'Hollander. "It's an opportunity to look at the administrative expenses, look at finding efficiencies, look at different ways to provide services and look at the possibility of families needing to pay higher rates."
To further stir the pot, there's a new Child Care Access Tax and Relief credit that the federal government is implementing.
"We're trying to understand the new credit and how families can access it," said D'Hollander.
Despite all the changes D'Hollander said the city and its child care operators are a cohesive group that will work together to understand the financial impacts and help families cope.
"We'll look under the various rocks and consult with our community members on trying to minimize those impacts and trying to find those dollars," he said.
The city has almost 3,000 child care spaces. A wait list is starting to form in these early days of funding changes.
"We want to assure our community that we're on top of this particular item and that we're going to do our best," said D'Hollander.
"This situation isn't unique to our service area, far from it. We're working with colleagues within our service areas to provide the most efficient and effective services that we jointly can."