Queen’s Park Update

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MPP Jim McDonell

This week, Ontario families received great news as our Government reached a new deal with the Federal Government that provides $10 per day of childcare by September 2025. Throughout the tough negotiations, the Premier never wavered on his demand to receive the same funding given to Quebec to ensure a fair deal for Ontarians. The new $13.2 billion agreement will be retroactive to April 1. It will save families an average of 25 percent of their child care costs immediately, increasing to 50 percent by December. The plan works out to a savings of roughly $4,000 per child this year and over $12,000 in 2023. It is in stark contrast to the 400 percent increase under the former Government when costs rose to the highest in the country. In addition, this generational investment will enable service providers to create 86,000 more childcare spaces and hire thousands of licensed early childhood educators while simultaneously improving wages for all child care staff. Through the Ontario Child Care Tax Credit (CARE), affordable child care options, and continued investment in all‑day Kindergarten, Ontario parents are now provided with the largest array of options, benefits, and supports for early years and child care in the country.

During my time in the provincial Government, I met with numerous parents and caregivers of developmentally delayed children and hosted several round tables. As a result, I was pleased to hear about the creation of 22 new SmartStart Hubs across the Province to better connect parents and caregivers with child development services in their communities as early as possible. The new Hubs will be a clear entry point to services for children and families and provide consistent delivery of services. They will bring together local professionals in early intervention and child development services to provide seamless connections to assessments and services, such as speech and language services. Children’s Treatment Centres across the Province will begin implementing the new SmartStart Hubs in April. SmartStart Hubs will serve children and youth from birth until age 19, or up to age 21 if they are in school and living in Ontario.

And finally, with warmer weather around the corner, the Government wants to encourage residents to take a vacation in our beautiful Province. To help our tourism operators recover, we are providing a Staycation Tax Credit that will allow residents to claim 20 percent of eligible accommodation expenses, up to $1,000 for an individual and $2,000 for a family. The tax credit will be returned with the filing of your 2022 income tax return, even if you don’t owe any income tax.

Regards,

Jim McDonell,
MPP for Stormont‑Dundas‑South Glengarry

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