Ontario on Verge of Signing $10.2 Billion Child Care Deal

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OTTAWA—Federal and provincial sources say the provincial government has signed a $10.2 billion child−care deal with the federal government that will cut child−care fees in the province in half by the end of the year.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford are scheduled to make an announcement about the deal Monday in the Greater Toronto Area and sources from both governments with knowledge of the negotiations say the deal was signed Sunday evening after intense final talks over the weekend.

They all spoke to The Canadian Press on the condition they not be named due to the sensitive nature of the talks.

The Ontario deal is the last one needed to fulfil Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge to bring child−care fees down to an average of $10 a day in every province and territory by the end of 2026.

Ontario was holding out for more money and while they didn’t get that, provincial sources say they secured more flexibility in when the funds are spent, which will allow them to hit the target of lowering fees to an average of $10 a day, as well as securing a review mechanism in year three that lets them ask for more money if there is a shortfall.

A federal official with knowledge of the deal says Ontario will cut fees in the next few months an average 25 per cent retroactive to April 1 and by an average of 50 percent by the end of December.

By Mia Rabson

The Canadian Press

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