Windsor

Parents protesting Ontario's proposed childcare changes

Childcare providers are worried about the costs associated with new industry regulations being proposed by the Ontario government, said Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky
Childcare providers and parents protested the proposed changes at a rally outside ABC Day Nursery on Lauzon Thursday. (Ioana Draghici/CBC)

Childcare providers are worried about the costs associated with new industry regulations being proposed by the Ontario government.

Childcare providers and parents protested the proposed changes at a rally outside ABC Day Nursery on Lauzon Road in Windsor on Thursday.

The proposed changes would create new age classifications for children and require more adults at licensed childcare centres.

Current classifications:

  • Infants: Younger than 18 months.
  • Toddlers: 18 months to 30 months old.
  • Preschoolers: Children over 30 months old.

Proposed classifications:

  • Infants: Younger than 12 months.
  • Toddlers: 12 months to 24 months old.
  • Preschoolers: Children over 24months old.

Windsor West NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky highlighted her concerns during an interview with CBC Windsor Morning host Tony Doucette.

She claims changes like that could require renovations at the centres and Gretzky fears any associated costs could turn into higher fees for parents.

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky speaks during a protest at ABC Day Nursery in Windsor on Thursday. (Ioana Draghici/CBC)

"Either the cost of childcare is going to go up or many of these child-care centres are going to have to close because they just will not have the funding in order to make the changes to meet the regulations," she said.

New staffing ratios at licensed daycares would shift slightly, too. Instead of three adults watching 10 children in the infant age group, it would be one adult for every three.

As well, the ratio would go from one adult for five children to one adult for four in the toddler group, while preschool will remain the same with one adult for eight children.

Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals told CBC News childcare ratios and age groupings have not been changed in decades and are workable.

"The proposed changes to age grouping, ratios, group size and staff qualifications will strengthen quality, increase access and reflect the feedback we received from childcare licensees," she said in a written statement.

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