On April 26th, 2018 – the City’s Auditor General released a report titled Children’s Services Division Opportunities to Achieve Greater Value from Public Funds.
The report contained some good recommendations on how the City could find savings in the administration of the child care system through better use of existing spaces, managing waitlists and ensuring accurate assessments for childcare subsidy eligibility. But we were startled to see the Auditor General recommend looking into alternative service delivery of the City’s 52 child care centres.
Contracting out of the City’s child care centres has been proposed and studied before and those studies concluded that such a scheme would be ill-advised. Third-party reviews on these child care centres have time and again shown their value to the city through superior quality ratings, service to high needs populations and the benchmarks/best practices they set for other child care operators.
On May 11, 2018 – Local 79 President Dave Mitchell attended the City’s Audit Committee to defend the important role that City-operated child care centres play in Toronto’s overall child care system. After Dave and several others representing parent groups and child care advocacy organizations put pressure on the Audit Committee to maintain the City’s directly-operated child care centres, the Committee accepted an amendment that replaced the motion and removed language about alternative service delivery and instead focused on further studying the value of these centres. The report will be brought to Council in the second quarter of 2019.
Watch Dave Mitchell’s deputation at Audit Committee below:
Watch Child Care Canada’s Executive Director Martha Friendly’s defence of the City-operated child care centres: