Mammoliti wants Toronto out of childcare operations
Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti said Toronto should turn its daycare centres over to the province, on Thursday, July 5, 2012.
Published Thursday, July 5, 2012 1:10PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 5, 2012 3:41PM EDT
The head of Toronto’s childcare task force recommended on Thursday that the city turn its 53 daycare centres over to the province and get out of the operation entirely.
Coun. Giorgio Mammoliti told reporters that the municipal government was ill-suited to run childcare centres. He said the city would need to spend $74 million to maintain the status quo and invest $48.6 million extra funding to bring the system to an appropriate level.
“We cannot meet the growing needs of childcare on our own as a city, without the funding. That has become a reality,” Mammoliti told a press conference on Thursday.
“There is a crisis in childcare in the city of Toronto.”
Mammoliti is the chair of Toronto’s childcare task force, which was charged last year with finding a new funding system for city-run daycares.
The city currently uses a reserve fund to subsidize some 2,000 daycare spaces. That reserve fund will be depleted by 2014, leaving the spaces unfunded. There are currently more than 21,000 children on the waiting list for the subsidy.
In a report released Thursday, the task force called for various funding commitments and tax incentives from the provincial and federal governments.
Mammoliti, independent of the task force, ultimately declared the best course of action to be handing over the city’s 53 daycare centres to the province in an attempt to save money.
“I am recommending that the City of Toronto child care operation and system management portfolio, and all responsibility, be transferred to the Ministry of Education,” he said.
Mammoliti said the province appeared set on having its childcare program run in conjunction with the school board. He said Toronto’s system should be folded into that model by 2018.
“We have six years to be able to transition, and work with the province on its new kindergarten program,” he said.
“Parents will be a lot happier knowing their children will attend the same school in early childcare that they will in kindergarten. It will save a lot of headache for a lot of parents.”
Mammoliti said his plan would not put childcare providers out of business. He said providers could work with the school boards under the new system.
Last year, a review of city services suggested phasing out some 2,000 childcare spaced subsidized by the city.