Toronto should advocate for affordable childcare at the provincial level and develop it’s own affordable childcare strategy to allow for greater workplace participation.
Pros: Allows parents to enter the workforce, essential social service, could encourage population growth, could make downtown more family friendly.
Cons: High costs of implementation, requires additional taxes, and partnerships between private sector provides and city and provincial organizations.
The lack of access to affordable childcare prevents many working families from reaching their economic potential and has major impacts on the quality of life of city residents. For many, the cost of childcare is often very close to the potential income they could earn working in full or part time positions. As such, it doesn’t make economic sense to work, as they will not see returns on their efforts. In order to pay for childcare, some workers have to hold multiple jobs that typically require the parent to spend additional time outside of the home. When parents are unable to be home with their children, both parties’ quality of life are negatively impacted. Finally, access to affordable childcare could also provide incentives for young families to have children and remain living in downtown neighbourhoods, where higher costs of living, often prove as a financial barrier to growing families.
Access to affordable childcare benefits children, parents, employers, and businesses. The city has experience managing and providing childcare services, but they just need to be scaled up. Readers argued that affordable childcare could be financed and implemented in several ways. First, financing could come through a targeted add-on tax based on the model currently used in Quebec. Second, a public private partnership between the city, childcare providers, and financial institutions could provide low-cost loans to the families for financing childcare costs following the pilot program underway in New York City. Third, the city could increase financial and policy support for Family Well Being Circles to provide a holistic alternative between institutional childcare and unlicensed home care situations.
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