Tuesday, November 15, 2011

T.O. faces child care crisis: Mammoliti

Councillor Giorgio Mammoliti warned an “imminent collapse” of child care is coming in Toronto if the province doesn’t come to the table with its chequebook.

Mammoliti, the head of the mayor’s task force on child care, says the city needs $123.2 million from the Ontario government to prevent a child care crisis.

“This is not an issue that the city of Toronto can solve locally, this is a situation created by the province and it is one that can only be resolved by the province,” Mammoliti said Monday.

The consensus from the task force is that the city can’t afford to wait and needs to start child care talks with the province.

The lack of funding for child care is being compounded, Mammoliti argued, from the province’s plan to start full-day kindergarten. Pulling those children out of the child care system will force child care centres to rely on increased rates for the remaining younger children.

“I’m not exaggerating when I state that this is an emergency situation and citizens of Toronto are its victims,” he said. “The time for talk is over, we need a made-for-Toronto solution and we need it now.”

Earlier this month, the community development and recreation committee voted to urge city council to petition Premier Dalton McGuinty about the “urgent need” to provide millions to preserve the system.

Councillor Janet Davis said she was pleased that Mammoliti has acknowledged “that we have a revenue problem at the City of Toronto when it comes to child care.”

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