NDP MPP introduces bill prohibiting daycare wait list fees
UPDATE – May 17, 2016:
The Ontario government has proposed a regulation that would ban licensed child care centres and home child care agencies from charging fees to join a waiting list for child care programs. The Ministry’s press release and its Consultation Document can be found here.
Premier Kathleen Wynne has promised to ban daycare waitlist fees “very soon”.
GP associates Nadine Blum and Kelly Doctor told the Toronto Star that they are “pleased to see that the premier is committed to taking action on the issue .. [and] … hope that her comments around accountability will also result in action on the issue of the transparency of waitlists, the queue jumping.”
However, they think this is just a first step. They would like to see the province “address the more pressing needs that result from scarcity and undue costs that need to be resolved through a universal child care system.”
Ontario NDP MPP Peter Tabuns has introduced a private member’s bill that seeks to prohibit daycare wait list fees and ensure that parents who are on waitlists are treated fairly when daycare spots are filled.
The campaign to address these issues was started by Nadine Blum and Kelly Doctor, who spoke to the media with MPP Tabuns this morning. You can read more about the issue and their efforts to ban daycare wait list fees here.
Here’s what you can you do to help!
Childcare in Ontario is a huge problem. There are simply not enough spots to meet demand, and parents are often desperate. Many childcare centres have taken advantage of the situation and charge non-refundable wait list fees. What is worse, these waitlists are sometimes administered in an arbitrary way, and stories abound of people jumping the queue.
Hundreds of Ontarians signed a petition to end these unfair practices and as a result, MPPs are now working to put pressure on the government to ban non-refundable waitlist fees and to make wait lists more transparent. A private member’s bill has been introduced, but that’s not enough – the government won’t take action until they hear that a lot of parents think that these practices are abusive and unfair.
Here’s how you can help in 30 seconds or less: Copy and paste the message below into an email and send it to Premier Kathleen Wynne (firstname.lastname@example.org). Copy MPP Peter Tabuns (email@example.com) and MPP Arthur Potts (firstname.lastname@example.org) who are trying to advance the issue. You can also include your own story about how much you paid in fees or how difficult it was to find a daycare space. Politicians keep statistics on how many messages they receive on a particular topic, so every email counts!
Dear Premier Wynne,
As a result of the scarcity of childcare centre spaces, parents often have to sign up for multiple wait lists. Some centres are charging parents non-refundable fees of more than $100 to place a child on a waitlist, with no guarantee that the child will get placed. In addition, these wait lists are not administered in a transparent manner, which results in queue jumping and favouritism. These practices are abusive and unfair, and place an undue burden on parents who are already burdened by sky-high childcare fees.
We want the government to ban childcare waitlist fees and to require that wait lists be transparent.
We also call on your government to develop a real childcare policy that treats childcare as a public good that parents can count upon, not a commodity for which they have to compete.