News Local

Province prepares to open new daycare spaces

By Valerie MacDonald, Northumberland Today

Northumberland MPP Lou Rinaldi talked about the process of bringing 100,000 new infant childcare spaces into the system in Ontario over the next five years during an announcement at the Terry Fox YMCA Child Care Centre on Friday morning. He was joined by Northumberland County's Children and Youth Children's manager Lesley Patterson (keft) and YMCA Northumberland executive director Eunice Kirkpatrick. VALERIE MACDONALD/Northumberland Today/Postmedia Network

Northumberland MPP Lou Rinaldi talked about the process of bringing 100,000 new infant childcare spaces into the system in Ontario over the next five years during an announcement at the Terry Fox YMCA Child Care Centre on Friday morning. He was joined by Northumberland County's Children and Youth Children's manager Lesley Patterson (keft) and YMCA Northumberland executive director Eunice Kirkpatrick. VALERIE MACDONALD/Northumberland Today/Postmedia Network

COBOURG — Parents will be consulted in the local riding before some of the 100,000 new subsidized child care spaces in Ontario come onstream next spring, Northumberland MPP Lou Rinaldi announced at a media conference in Cobourg Friday.

As children played in the background at the Terry Fox YMCA Child Care Centre on Riddell Ave., Rinaldi said local discussions would take place with those “on the ground about how best to use the funding.”

At the same time, talks are being held with the Federal Government to align efforts, the MPP added.

The child care spaces will be directed at those from infants to toddlers, states a media release. This adds to the junior and senior kindergarten education system already in place, Rinaldi said.

The new child care spaces announced in the recent Throne Speech will double child care spaces within the five years they are to be rolled out.

“No two communities are the same,” Northumberland County's Children and Youth childrens' manager Lesley Patterson said at the event, and the county is in the “gathering data” stage. However, she added there are waiting lists and the need for infant care is a “priority.”

Public consultations will take place in the fall and winter.

Asked where care will be provided, Patterson said, the community's needs will be evaluated but in general the county, working with the school boards, will look at licenced facilities already serving Northumberland. There is already the philosophy of “schools first,” she said.

vmacdonald@postmedia.com



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