Thousands of Toronto parents with children in school-based child care centres will see their annual fees jump by more than $500 under the city’s 2012 budget, advocates warn.
The increase comes at a time when daycares are already raising fees to cover the loss of four and five-year-olds to all-day kindergarten, says Jane Mercer of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.
“How much more can cash-strapped daycares and parents endure?” said Mercer, who will address the city’s budget committee on the issue today.
High school science teacher Cheryl Woods, who pays about $19,000 in annual daycare fees for her two boys, ages 3 and 6, can’t believe her costs might rise by $1,000 next year. She estimates daycare already eats up almost one-third of her take-home pay.
“I’m fortunate that my husband’s business is doing very well right now,” said Woods, 36, whose children attend Red Apple Daycare at Blessed John XXIII Catholic School in East York.
“But I can’t imagine how families who don’t have two good incomes will survive,” she added.
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