Toronto daycare offers fee hike instead of $10 a day

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A Toronto child care center has told parents it is not considering offering $10-a-day child care under the federal government’s new funding program. Instead, he is proposing a fee increase.

The Kinder Grove Infant & Child Care Center informed parents in an email that it would not be joining CWELCC’s federal funding program because accepting “funding would limit our availability to provide the same enriched program that we currently offer.” .

The daycare, located near St. Clair Avenue West and Bathurst Street, said it had no choice but to raise fees to deal with soaring operating costs and to “rapid inflation largely due to COVID-19 and now the war in Ukraine.

Effective September 1, prices will increase by 8%.

“Our goal has always been to provide top-notch childcare services at affordable prices,” the email to parents read. “While it pains us to (raise prices), we hope you will understand that this is a necessity in order to continue to provide the best quality childcare possible.”

The daycare’s decision to increase fees without first consulting parents has upset at least one mother.

“It leaves parents helpless. We have no other options,” said the mum, who asked that she not be named for fear of retaliation from the daycare.

The recently launched childcare program promises an average of $10 per day of childcare by September 2025.

The first step in the agreement between the Ontario and federal governments was to reduce fees by up to 25% to a minimum of $12 a day for children five and under in licensed child care centers, retroactive to April 1 2022. This means parents would receive a partial refund for childcare fees already paid from April whenever fee reductions actually happen.

Kinder Grove’s decision not to accept funding is disappointing, the mother said, adding that affordable daycare “should be available to everyone.”

She said that while her family could absorb Kinder Grove’s projected fee hike, it has affected their family planning.

“If we have a second child, basically everything I earn will go back to daycare,” she said. “It then becomes a question of whether I should go back to work or not. We’re lucky and we can afford this daycare… but it doesn’t seem fair that I have to question my career.

In an email to The Star, Sam Askenasi, director of Kinder Grove, defended the center’s decision not to enroll in CWELCC.

“There is a lot of ambiguity about how the government program will work,” Askenasi said.

“As such, we have chosen to monitor the program and continue to evaluate it as it rolls out and matures.”

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