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Access and Inclusion Space Target - Issue Report

Report To: Program Planning Committee

From: Lori Clark, Director of Integrated Human Services and
                Amy Ingram, Integrated Human Services Manager

Date: February 15, 2023

Re: Access and Inclusion Framework and Notional Space Targets


To update the Board on the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care System (CWELCC) Access and Inclusion Framework and Notional Space Targets in the Manitoulin-Sudbury District.


Further to the verbal update provided to the Board in January, Ontario is making child care more affordable and accessible for families across the province, creating an additional 53, 000 new, affordable licensed child care spaces by December 2026 – bringing the total to 86, 000 new spaces since 2019.

The new spaces will be part of the Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care (CWELCC) system, meaning the cost to parents who enroll their children in these centers will be reduced to an average of $10 a day by September 2026.  To ensure improved access, new child care space allocations will focus on the creation of affordable spaces in communities with children who need them most – rural communities, growth communities, low-income children, vulnerable children, children from diverse communities, children with special needs, Francophone and Indigenous children.

In the memo dated December 19, 2022, as a part of the CWELCC agreement, Ontario announced a targeted plan to create these new licensed child care spaces.  The Ministry of Education required service system managers to submit space expansion plans and inclusion plans. These plans are intended to inform the provincial allocation of new child care spaces and to ensure a broad range of communities and populations have access to high quality, affordable and including child care. Based on space expansion and inclusion plans, Ontario will provide start-up grants to support the creation of new spaces in targeted regions and for underserviced communities and populations.

This directed growth approach will support space creation in regions of the district that have historically low rates of space availability. Funding will be allocated to work towards ensuring equitable access for children aged 0-5 years. The new, one-time grants will help new and existing child-care operators offset initial costs of expanding or creating spaces, such as buying equipment or renovating facilities.

Planning to Date

The total 5 year space allocation for the Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB is 183 spaces for the period of 2022 – 2026 comprised of both school based and community based spaces. The CWELCC space reporting template was completed and submitted to the Ministry requesting to maintain the notional allocations provided. This is an estimated projection, which aims to deliver on both Ministry and Manitoulin-Sudbury DSB priorities.

We have planned for 2023-2024, however, we will require additional opportunities to communicate with our partners and communities to assess needs. Our plan to open most spaces through licensed home child care (LHCC) and Family Groupings is responsive to the small rural and remote communities in the district. This will support ensuring viability in the future.

As noted in our initial submission to the Ministry, we anticipated that our plans may shift over time given our ever-changing communities and local economics. Since the initial submission, the template has been updated and re-sent to the Ministry reflecting a change to net new 14 school-based spaces.

We will continue to meet with community partners as much of the data for the small and rural areas is suppressed by Statistics Canada (Census data) due to low counts. Due to the data availability for some of the metrics we are using caution in drawing conclusions.

We will continue to keep the Board and the Ministry informed of our plans.


Staff will continue to prioritize affordability, access, quality, inclusion and will provide ongoing updates to the Board. Staff recommend that the Board accept the CWELCC - Access and Inclusion Framework and Notional Space Targets issue report as presented.