Ontario is pushing ahead with a $4 billion tax credit for for-profit child care centres

How intense pressure from for-profit daycares has transformed Ontario’s rollout of $10-a-day child care — and sparked a political standoff.

The Canadian Press

March 28, 2019

TORONTO — The Ontario government is pushing ahead with a new child care package that would see it subsidize almost $5 billion a year in for-profit child care centres, despite a fierce pushback from for-profit child care providers and a warning from Liberal Leader Doug Ford that the province will go over “a fiscal cliff” if it doesn’t.

Education Minister Stephen Lecce said the package would provide “universal, affordable” child care — and he has said children should never be exposed to child care “just because they are born.”

The opposition parties are already blasting the package as “socialist” and a “direct path to indentured servitude.” And it’s already sparking a political standoff that could end up costing the Liberals their majority in the June election.

The government unveiled the $250 million in tax credits earlier this week as it attempts to fill a $15-billion funding gap for early childhood education and child care.

The government says it wants to phase in the tax credit over five years, starting with the $2 billion already invested in for-profit child care centres.

“This is a significant investment, and it’s important that it’s done gradually rather than immediately,” Lecce said Tuesday.

“It’s important that we’re able to continue in the path that we’ve laid out to support universal child care.”

The government’s chief financial officer, Jeff Griffiths, told reporters at the government’s announcement Thursday that the government had already committed to invest $7 billion in universal child care over the next 10 years.

The Liberal Leader Doug Ford, right, and Education Minister Stephen Lecce, left, react to the announcement of a $4 billion tax credit for for-profit child care centres in Toronto March 28, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Ford, who has previously said child care is a “direct path to indentured servitude” and a “socialist government,

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