News / Ottawa

Premier visits Vanier school to announce more child care spaces

Premier Wynne stopped into a Vanier elementary school Thursday to promise 49 new infant child care spaces.

File photo of Halton MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris makes a funding announcement at Irma Coulson Public School in Milton.

Melanie Hennessey/Metroland

File photo of Halton MPP Indira Naidoo-Harris makes a funding announcement at Irma Coulson Public School in Milton.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne stopped into a Vanier elementary school Thursday morning for an announcement promising 49 new infant child care spaces.

The premier was accompanied by Minister Indira Naidoo-Harris at Vanier’s École élémentaire catholique Horizon-Jeunesse to announce a $1.5-million boost to build three new child care rooms at the school.

The expansion means the city will get an additional 49 new licensed child care spaces.

“I want you to know we’ve been listening to the Ottawa community, and communities across Ontario, and you’ve all told us what you want and need is more access. More access to high quality, licensed childcare,” said Naidoo-Harris at the morning announcement.

The government’s long-term plan is to add an additional 100,000 spots across the province over the next five years.

Naidoo-Harris said the new spots are meant to bring “choice, flexibility and accessibility” for parents.

Micki Di Cesare, manager of Programs and Community Engagement at the Ottawa Parent Resource Centre, said the new spaces are needed to help with demand, especially licensed care for infants.

“Infant spots are quite hard to find,” she said. “If we’re looking specifically at what spaces are out there that are licensed it simply can’t meet all the demands. There just isn’t enough spaces.”

“Any space is a good thing. Obviously I think the sector would love to see more, but we get that this is a process over time. Any spaces are going to be welcome in the community, especially by parents,” she said.

The average cost of childcare, according to City of Ottawa data, varies from $17.04 to $21.71 a day for school age children and $54.02 to $92.92 a day for infants. Parents looking for care must register with the City of Ottawa and are usually placed on a wait list.

Ottawa has a total of 181 licensed childcare providers, according to the ministry’s website.