February 26, 2014
Ottawa – Families in the City of Ottawa will see improvements to the child care system thanks to the implementation of the 2014 Child Care Service Plan. Developed through extensive public engagement and consultation with service providers, experts and over 600 parents, the Plan moves towards placing subsidies in the hands of families who need them the most, improving parental choice and ensuring greater system accountability.
Currently, parents must apply to individual facilities and when a subsidized spot becomes available they are eligible to apply to the City of Ottawa for a fee subsidy. Under the Child Care Service Plan, fee subsidies will follow the individual child rather than the service provider. When a subsidized space becomes available, parents will be able to choose where their child receives subsidized care, allowing for better service and greater parental choice.
“This new plan not only reflects the realities of child care needs in the City, but also the values we hold dear,” said Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee. “Ensuring a stable system where, together, with providers, we put parents and children first is key to modernizing Ottawa’s system.”
Through the new Plan, the City will give priority access to child care fee subsidy to families most in need. Children in families living on social assistance and households whose income is under the Low Income Cut Off (LICO) will have greater access to the care they need regardless of geographic limitations.
This transformation, which has been underway since 2013, will continue well into 2015. In September 2014, the City will launch a new waitlist management system allowing City staff to know exactly how many families are waiting for a licensed child care space, and how many are eligible for a fee subsidy. Parents who are currently on the waiting list for child care spaces will be contacted and asked to update their information for the new waitlist system. All data will be transferred over, including the original date of registration.