Family charged for daycare services while kids are home amid pandemic has fees waived
TORONTO -- A North York family that was upset it would have to continue to have to pay daycare fees even when their children were at home, now say they won’t have to.
“It's phenomenal news. It's such a weight off my shoulders. It's such a relief I won't have to pay these fees," Stephanie Coelho said.
CTV News Toronto spoke with Coelho on March 17 after she was told by the facility she would still have to pay fees for her two small children even if they didn’t attend the centre for daycare.
At the time Coelho thought that was extremely unfair.
“I just don’t feel I should have to pay daycare fees when I’m watching my own children at home” said Coelho.
However, Brookhaven Child Care, where her children go, recently sent her a notification waiving the fees.
“We have finally been able to make a decision to waive childcare fees during our closure with the help of the province and the City of Toronto.”
Coelho says she has been in touch with other parents regarding childcare and some families say they are still expected to pay fees while their children’s daycare centres are closed.
“Other parents I’ve spoken with say their fees are still being charged, so for other families it’s up in the air and not 100 per cent settled,” Coelho said.
There is an online petition calling on private daycares to credit or refund parents for service not rendered due to COVID -19. It currently has almost 7,000 signatures.
The Ontario Coalition for Better Childcare is calling on the province to “fund child care programs during closure so that operators can pay staff, not charge parent fees, and avoid financial distress themselves.”
The government has said daycare expenses were being reviewed.
Coleho told CTV News Toronto that while she is pleased with her situation, she believes all families should be treated fairly.
“I think this should apply to every daycare in the province. Why should people be charged when they don’t receive services?”
The Association of Daycare Operators of Ontario also told CTV News Toronto that circumstances facing Ontario’s independent licensed child care programs are, in some cases, quite dire.
“Without a commitment from the province, it's likely that some centres will not re-open at all,” executive director Andrea Hannen said. “Our members want to be able to work in partnership with the Province to meet the needs of Ontario families.”