September 11th, 2020

COVID-19 tracking site shows alarming 56 cases in child care: NDP

TORONTO — The NDP critic for Early Learning and Child Care, Doly Begum, says the online list to track COVID-19 data in licensed child care, a move the NDP has been calling for, launched this morning to reveal an alarming 56 recorded COVID-19 cases in child care.

"The return of little ones to child care without proper funding and guidelines have been a cause of huge anxiety for many families," Begum said. "The NDP has been pushing the Ford government to end its pattern of secrecy around COVID-19 cases and make the number of cases seen in child care centres and schools publicly available and up-to-date,” said Begum.

“The launch of the list this morning reveals that licensed child care settings have seen 56 cases of COVID-19, and before-and-after school-based child care is about to ramp up.”

Begum and the NDP have been pushing the Ford government to support child care centres so they have smaller groups of kids, more staff, better physical distancing, and more help with cleaning and screening. As of Sept. 1, child care centres are allowed up to 30 kids in one room for elementary-aged kids.

"The NDP will be monitoring these numbers closely, and will continue to urge the Ford government to better support the province's struggling child care sector by providing the funding centres have been calling for to keep kids and staff safe and healthy,” said Begum.

The NDP has also been fighting in opposition to Doug Ford’s decision, effective Sept, 1, to allow child care centres to charge parents the full price of a child care space when that space isn’t being used.

"Families are already facing hardship in the midst of a pandemic; they should not be punished for services not rendered," said Begum. "The NDP wants the Ford government to step up with financial help for struggling non-profit child care centres, many of which have been on the brink of closing forever. This is a necessary step to save our already strained child care sector and help families get through this crisis."