All area child care providers enrolled in system

DISTRICT - DTSSAB states that the Timiskaming District reached 100 per cent enrollment into the Canada-Wide Early Learning Child Care (CWELCC) system in advance of the November 1 deadline.

The Children’s Services team has been diligently working to enrol the six child care providers who provide care at 16 different sites throughout the area into the system, the District of Temiskaming Social Services Administration Board (DTSSAB) said in a press release.

The early learning system will give families access to more affordable and high-quality child care options, help lower child care fees for parents of children under the age of six, increase child care spaces, support the child care workforce, and support inclusive child care, the press release continued.

Parents or guardians with children under the age of six do not have to apply to receive a child care fee reduction, as the reduction will occur during the child care provider's billing process, DTSSAB stated.

The Children’s Services program has issued over $375,000 in CWELCC funds to licensed child care providers to support the 25 per cent rebate that was retroactive to April 1.

DTSSAB stated that it is "confident that rebates will be issued to families by the end of November 30, and that child care providers will be well prepared to implement the second 25 per cent reduction by the end of 2022. By September 2025, the province anticipates lowering license child care fees to an average of $10 a day for children under the age of six."

“We look forward to continued collaboration with our child care providers in a smooth transition into the CWELCC system and alleviating a portion of the financial strain that sits with Temiskaming’s families,” Children's Services manager Lyne Labelle stated in the press release.

DTSSAB communications and executive coordinator Michelle Caron further explained in an email that rebates are being offered at this time as the system gets started, but once it is caught up, parents or guardians will see the reduced amount immediately reflected on their child care bill.

"The DTSSAB is working diligently with the child care providers to have the rebates rolled out as soon as possible. The rebates are retroactive to April 1, however the providers were not yet registered with CWELCC at that time, therefore it was not possible to have arranged the reduction directly on the parent/guardians’ child care bill at that time. Once all providers are fully set-up in the system and the retroactive payments have been addressed, then the fee reductions will be evident directly on the parent/guardians’ child care bill."

Darlene Wroe, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker