To bring them in line with recently updated guidelines for the federal government’s Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care program, Stratford council has approved the further reduction of child-care fees at the city’s Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre for 2023.
After approving a 50 per cent reduction in fees last fall for the city-run Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre in 2023, Stratford council agreed to another slight reduction in daycare fees as a result of recent updates to guidelines for the federal government’s Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care program.
In October, the previous council passed the city’s 2023 fees and charges bylaws, which included updated fees for childcare at the Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre. Those updated fees reflected a 50 per cent reduction from those charged prior to April 2022 as mandated by the six-year, $13.2 billion early learning and childcare agreement between the federal and Ontario governments to deliver an average of $10-a-day care for children aged six and younger in childcare and early learning centres across the province by September 2025.
In December, new program guidelines were published mandating that reduction in fees be increased to 52.75 per cent as of Jan. 1.
The updated fees for Stratford’s Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre are:
According to a staff report, the fee reduction for childcare at Anne Hathaway will be offset by subsidy funding through the nationwide program this year and in future years. There is no anticipated impact to the city’s 2023 operating budget. Further reductions in daycare fees can be expected in future years as part of the program, the report noted.
The Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre is licensed for 107 children between the ages of 18 months and six years. In a separate report presented to Stratford’s social services subcommittee Tuesday evening, staff said enrolment at the Anne Hathaway Day Care Centre had increased to 75 per cent capacity by mid-September 2022 and is expected to reached 95 to 100 per cent capacity by the middle of this month following the lifting of pandemic restrictions early last year that capped enrolment at 50 per cent,
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