Ontario weakened its $10-a-day child care funding rules. Now the federal government is demanding answers.
This week, the federal government’s own auditor released its interim report on the Child Care Benefit Program – showing significant errors in the program’s operations. Despite that, though, the federal government has given the program its blessing.
The federal government is demanding answers. The province has said it will launch an independent review of the program. Both the province and the federal government have promised to ensure the program continues to protect the most vulnerable citizens.
The federal government has promised a review, a review, and a review. Here are three major questions that the federal government needs to address before it could say it’s done and dusted.
The federal government failed to put proper safeguards in place for children who lost their jobs, or who were threatened with losing their jobs in the event of a job loss.
In 2012, the federal government’s child care provider assessment system led the auditor to conclude that it put no limits on how it would calculate a provider’s assessment. That meant that while the children of thousands of families would have lost their funding, hundreds of families believed that no matter how hard they worked, they’d never make back the money. Worse, the government’s auditor also found that the federal government had not properly followed its own rules by including a provision that would have ensured that a provider who failed to meet assessment criteria would be cut off from funding.
The federal government has since promised to take action to ensure these protections are put in place.
The federal government didn’t keep the minister’s promise that there would be no changes to Ontario’s job-based subsidy.
The federal government didn’t honour an agreement to create new post-secondary courses for the children of people who lose their jobs and go temporarily without education. On Oct. 29, 2011, the federal government said it would create a new course for low-income students and their parents, including one that would prepare students not just for high school but also for their post-secondary education.
The federal government has