From the District of Muskoka:
Through the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (CWELCC), Muskoka is making progress to increase access to more affordable, inclusive, and high-quality early learning child care for families in Muskoka.
What is CWELCC?
The Canada-Ontario CWELCC system will give families increased access to high-quality, inclusive, and affordable child care. The District is the Service System Manager for Early Learning and Child Care in Muskoka and is working closely with the Provincial government and licensed childcare operators to lower childcare fees for children under the age of six, with the goal of an average cost of $10 a daycare by the end of 2026. Muskoka families who are accessing CWELCC spaces are currently seeing a 50% reduction (on average) in childcare fees as of December 31, 2022. Only licensed childcare programs that have a CWELCC agreement with the District can offer CWELCC rates to families in Muskoka.
Increasing Access to High-Quality, Affordable Child Care
In line with the provincial framework, the District will create an additional 373 CWELCC spaces in Muskoka by the end of 2026 – and is already making progress in increasing capacity and bringing on new operators.
The District welcomes Muskoka Lakeland Childcare (Lakeland), who recently joined the list of licensed, centre-based care in Muskoka, and is the first centre onboarded as part of the CWELCC Directed Growth Strategy. Lakeland brings 16 new licensed childcare spaces to the community and opens its doors in Gravenhurst next month.
In addition to Lakeland, the Muskoka Home Child Care Agency (MHCCA) also welcomed 2 new providers to their network of home-based licensed child care programs, bringing an additional 12 spaces operating under CWELCC in Muskoka.
“Increasing access to high quality, affordable child care is good for children, families and the economy in Muskoka. The early learning and childcare sector is the workforce that supports the workforce. It is estimated that Muskoka families accessing CWELCC spaces in 2023 are saving $1.5 million dollars in childcare fees. The addition of 28 community-based spaces is just the beginning and we look forward to announcing additional spaces in the coming months,” according to Program Director Heather Elliott.
“Child care is essential for young families in Muskoka, and the costs and lack of spaces have been a huge problem for many. These new spaces are great news and part of the District’s plan to deliver a total of 373 badly needed new child care spaces over the next few years, with federal funding to bring the costs down to an average of $10/day,”
– Jeff Lehman, District Chair
Contact information for licensed child care programs operating in Muskoka can be found on the District’s website at: https://www.muskoka.on.ca/en/children-and-seniors/licensed-child-care.aspx#Licensed-Centre-Based-Care.
Be a Part of Muskoka’s Transformation of Early Learning and Child Care
The District welcomes and invites private home child care providers in our community to join in our mission to provide high-quality, inclusive, affordable child care. By joining the MHCCA, you can make a significant difference in the lives of families, your neighbours, and friends who are in need.
To learn more about how you can offer affordable child care to your families and enjoy the benefits of being a MHCCA provider, visit our website at: www.muskoka.on.ca/mhcca.
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