Mayor Tory: City's big child care plan dependent on other governments

City of Toronto staff have crafted a big plan on the future of child care, but the question remains whether it can be achieved.

Councillors on the community development committee will debate this week a plan to grow child care in the city. By 2026, staff suggest almost doubling the number of spaces for children under the age of 4 to 70,000. There are currently 37,000 spaces.

The report also suggests reducing parent fees by up to 40 per cent and increasing the number of subsidized spots.

It won't come cheap.

Staff estimate there would be a one-time capital cost of between $1.4- and $1.9-billion, in 2017 dollars.

An extra $600-million would be needed each year in operating costs. 

Right now, the city covers 20 per cent of child care in Toronto, with the province and federal governments covering the rest. 

Both Liberal governments have promised increased funding to create new child care spaces, but have not detailed how much would go to Toronto specifically.

"We know the need is there," mayor John Tory says. "But our ability to continue to invest, to complete all of the objectives of the plan that was developed at the city level, is going to be dependent on their support."