Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Best Start and the Ministry of Education Early Learning Program (ELP) – two separate programs for children

Funding for the Best Start childcare program, which began in 2005 and was intended to last for 10 years, will end in March 2010. The funding for this program comes from the federal government to the provincial government, which then passes it on to the municipalities, which in turn distribute funds to eligible childcare centres.

In Toronto, the City does not make any direct contribution to the Best Start program. City of Toronto staff expects that childcare subsidies will start to be reduced on January 1, 2011, because of the end of federal government Best Start funding.
page 10.)

What you need to know: Subsidy reductions resulting from the ending of Best Start funding are not directly related to the Ministry of Education Early Learning Program. The Ministry of Education ELP is for children 4 and 5 years old and takes place in schools. The Best Start program, on the other hand, provides a range of programs and services for children, primarily in licensed childcare centres which are often not located in schools.

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