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Licensed day care boost in Simcoe County

Posted April 22, 2014

Simcoe County has received an "enhancement" of  $1.74 million in funding from the Ministry of Education (MEDU) that will boost the number of subsidized day care spaces and special education programs for 4,200 children.

The funding increase raised the total funding envelope for children's services across Simcoe County, including locally at licensed facilities in Alliston, Beeton, Tottenham, and Angus, to $26.8 million.

"While staff did not anticipate the new 100 per cent MEDU dollars, this increase will allow for additional investment in programs and services that further address local system service pressures," according to County staff report to council by Jan Janssen, Manager, Early Learning and Child Care, on this morning's agenda. "The Fee Subsidy Program supports the County's effort to reduce poverty and as such staff has allocated 65 per cent ($1,132,269) of the new MEDU funding ($1,746,920) to the fee subsidy envelope."

The increase funding allocation was spread out through the various components of the program, including Special Needs Resourcing whose $150,422 increase will support approximately 376 additional children currently on the wait-list.

Ms. Jassen's report shows the number of licensed day care facilities across the County has grown from 133 in 2011 to 193 (projected) this year.

The department is looking to hire two full-time Child Care Representative positions, "required in order to manage workload primarily associated with the County's Fee Subsidy Program and secondarily with the County's Directly Operated Family Home Day Care Program." Additionally, approval to engage a "contracted Consultant would support staff in undertaking a comprehensive review of Special Needs Resourcing intended to identify potential efficiencies and ultimately strengthen service delivery."

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