Ontario expanding before- and after-school care for families
As the new school year gets underway, Ontario is making it easier for children and families to access quality before- and after-school care.
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care, was at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Toronto yesterday to announce that more than 80 per cent of schools across Ontario are now offering before- and after-school programs for 4-12 year olds.
“For many families the day doesn’t begin and end with a school bell, that’s why it’s important to give them the support they need to lead happy, successful lives. We are expanding before-and after-school programs that parents rely on every day to help them meet their daily challenges. We are working hard to meet the needs of Ontario families so they can access quality, affordable child care programs,” stated Naidoo-Harris.
As of September 1st, Ontario now requires school boards to provide before- and after-school programs for children up to age 12, in all publicly funded elementary schools serving students up to Grade 6, where there is sufficient demand. These programs provide additional opportunities for play-based programming, and are a critical support for parents who rely on before- and after-school care to accommodate their work schedules.
- Before- and after-school programs for 4-12 year olds may be directly operated by a school board, delivered by a licensed child care centre, or, for after-school programs serving 6-12 year olds, an authorized recreational and skill-building program.
- Ontario will help 100,000 more children aged 0-4 access affordable, quality, and responsive licensed child care in schools, homes, and communities over the next five years. As part of the expansion plan, the province announced $1.6 billion in new funding to build 45,000 new child care spaces in schools and other community spaces across Ontario over the next five years.