Growing TO’s licensed Child Care System on the cities agenda Oct 20th

Growing Toronto’s Licensed Child Care System


(October 5, 2016) Report from the General Manager, Children’s Services


The General Manager, Children’s Services recommends that:


1. City Council acknowledge that growing the child care system requires investment by all three orders of government to address both capacity and affordability.


2. City Council request that the Province accompany any new provincial initiatives that expand the early learning and child care system, including capital investments and growth in school age programs, with investments in additional fee subsidies and other measures that address affordability barriers for families.


3. City Council request the Federal Government to address affordability of child care for all families as it establishes a National Framework on Early Learning and Child Care.


4. City Council request that, upon receipt of additional information on the anticipated federal and provincial commitments, Children’s Services report back with an early learning and child care growth strategy that is informed by data from the Licensed Child Care Demand and Affordability Study.


This report responds to a request for the General Manager, Children’s Services to develop a multi-year growth strategy for the City of Toronto’s licensed child care system.


As an integral piece of this work, Toronto Children’s Services commissioned a research team from the University of Toronto to study the demand for and affordability of licensed child care in Toronto. This report considers the results from the research study and the implications for growing Toronto’s child care system. This report also considers growth forecasts in Toronto’s child population over the next 15 years, which the Ontario Ministry of Finance estimates to be almost 23 per cent. Together, these two pieces provide the basis for a strong, evidence-based growth strategy for child care in Toronto.


In addition, recently announced provincial and federal funding programs may have significant implications for Toronto’s child care system. These opportunities are explored in greater detail in this report.


From the research study, Toronto Children’s Services now has a custom model that can be used going forward to simulate the impact of investments in capacity and affordability on the demand for licensed child care. This report outlines next steps for using this model to develop a growth strategy for Toronto, once more information becomes available on federal and provincial funding commitments.


A number of recommendations are made to Council for working with the provincial and federal governments to fund growth in Toronto’s licensed child care system in order to address both capacity and affordability.

Financial Impact

The adoption of recommendations included in this report has no financial impact on the City. Future municipal commitments to maintain the 80/20 per cent cost share ratio will be subject to Council approval when future provincial investments are obtained.


The Deputy City Manager and Chief Financial Officer has reviewed this report and agrees with the financial impact information.

Background Information

(October 5, 2016) Report from the General Manager, Children’s Services on Growing Toronto’s Licensed Child Care System 


Attachment – Executive Summary: Licensed Child Care Demand and Affordability Study 


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