Mayor Tory intends to preserve daycare grants after all

John Tory is rejecting a budget proposal to cut occupancy grants to 350 Toronto daycare centres, a move that city staff estimated could tack as much as $350 onto parents' childcare bills each year.

Tory had previously supported the plan, with $1.13 million earmarked for grants going instead toward creating 300 new daycare subsidies to the tune of $3 million.

On Monday the mayor announced his executive will move to protect occupancy grants for another year when it meets Tuesday. If approved by council, parents of some 8,000 children will not see their fees increase because of any grant changes. Tory has not abandoned the plan for new subsidies, saying money will be found elsewhere in the budget but did not elaborate.

"Asking people to pay more for childcare right now is not reasonable and it's not right," Tory told reporters. "So we will maintain the occupancy grant for 2017 while we work hard to see these costs transitioned to where the belong, namely the province of Ontario."

The mayor say he has sent a letter to the Premier asking her government to fund the full cost of space used by all early learning, childcare and before and after school programs in the city.

with files from Hayley Cooper