Parents United Against For-Profit Daycares

Parents United Against For-Profit Daycares

How intense pressure from for-profit daycares has transformed Ontario’s rollout of $10-a-day child care — and sparked a political standoff. When you consider that some of the more than 100,000 people who used child care as part of the pilot project are now enrolled in the province’s universal child care program, the extent of the controversy is clear.

A group of parents who oppose the for-profit daycares say the program, run by the non-profit Ontario Child Development Corporation (OCDC) under contract with the government, is not working for them, despite an investigation by both the agency and the Ontario auditor general finding that the $10-a-day cost was no bargain.

The group, known as the Parents United Against For-Profit Daycares (PUFFD), argues that the costs — $2,550 a year for family members who want daycare but are not enrolled — are too high and that the program is being abused by parents who don’t work full-time. Some of the group’s members even go so far as to say that they are paying the equivalent of $10,000 a year in rent.

The program is not unique to Ontario. Daycares are very popular in California, and the program is similar — as well as being funded with money from the state.

But what the PuffD does in Ontario is unique, as the program is the first to be run by OCDC, which is part of the non-profit agency the province launched to take on the problem of long-term, unsanitary and dangerous care.

“We know that we have about 6,000 kids currently in our province who have zero-to-minor physical or emotional disabilities,” says Diane Lebron, OCDC’s head of strategy and marketing. She says that even with this limited population, the organization is running

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