Toronto’s three aboriginal childcare centers are going to close, according to the head of Native Child and Family Services.
Two are already closing and the third likely will in the near future.
Executive director Ken Richard said these facilities are closing because the families who want to use them are stuck on waiting lists to get grants that would make daycare a financial possibility.
Until these first nations families get the money, they cannot enrol their children and the Native Child daycares remain empty, Richard said.
With no funds coming in, they have no choice but to close, he said.
This means that First Nations families in Toronto lose out on an aboriginal options.
According to the City of Toronto website, the city’s general manager of children’s services Elaine Baxter-Trashier reports there are more than 20,000 children on the waiting list for subsidized daycare.
These families who are unable to afford daycare that are properly licensed are forced to send their kids to unlicensed daycares, Richard said.
Under the provincial Day Nurseries act, home daycares can be unlicensed and look after five unrelated children who are younger than 10. After the death of a two-year old in an unlicensed at one such facility in Vaughan, the provincial government is now reforming child-care legislation.
Richard is pushing for a separate system for aboriginal childcare that would keep the aboriginal childcare centers and their clients from being lost in the shuffle.