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Ontario municipalities are sounding the alarm that chronic under-funding is putting the health of our childcare system at risk, shortchanging children with special needs and restricting access to care for low-income earners.

A new CUPE report that examines the service plans from ten Ontario cities shows municipalities are committed to accessible, high quality childcare but they can’t bear the increasing financial burden caused by provincial funding shortfalls.

Chronic provincial under-funding means municipalities “are dipping into their own funding reserves to maintain existing services,” says Toronto councillor Olivia Chow.

“This is no way to meet the long-term essential funding demands of the childcare system,” says Ottawa councillor Alex Munter. “It’s just not sustainable.”

CUPE’s report sets out an agenda for action that includes increased funding for operating and capital costs, and support for parents who are students or getting training.