Inequality is growing in Toronto and in Ward 1 and this is reflected in in growing poverty rates. Families find themselves struggling to pay rent and hydro. It is difficult for many parents to find work as finding daycare spaces that are affordable is increasingly difficult due to shortage of subsidized spaces in Ward 1. According to a report by Commitment to Community TO (https://prosperityplatform.ca/) 1 in 4 children live in poverty.
One way that we can address economic and gender inequality is through a policy of Universal and affordable Child Care. ACORN is a campaigning for $10 a day child care that would increase spaces by creating daycare in community hubs, schools, apartment buildings and other spaces convenient to the work schedule of parents.
A study entitled Child Care Deserts has shown the unevenness of child care availability in Toronto. There is high availability between downton and north to 401 but as you go further north to North Etobicoke and our ward 1 and other parts of Toronto such As North York and Scarborough, coverage drops markedly. Opportunities to obtain accessible and affordable childcare is difficult and restricts career and economic opportunities of parents and caregivers.
This needs to change . We need to increase the spaces and in particular subsidized spaces in Ward 1 and other areas of the city which are currently child care deserts. A good starting point is one proposed by Commitment to Community TO in its prosperity platform. It calls for a target of 11500 new child care spaces including 5000 subsidized spaces. I would ensure that areas currently poorly served would be given priority for the increase space and that a 10$ a day sliding scale cap is put in place to ensure affordability. If we are to address child poverty, then we have to ensure that children are given the best start in life and universal and affordable child care is a must.