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Deadline for child-care operators to opt in to $10-a-day extended

The province has extended the deadline for childcare operators to opt into the life-changing $10-a-day program.

"The extension, it is a good thing that parents can tap into it," said mom and childcare advocate Kim Gilbert.

She's glad to see more parents will be able to gain access to care for their children.

"It's good they extended the deadline a little bit for those that haven't accessed childcare centres to save a spot for their child,” Gilbert said.

And it gives operators more time to weigh the pros and cons of joining the program.

The City of Windsor was unable to confirm the number of operators that have decided to opt into the program.

CTV News spoke to one local operator that is on the fence, while in other regions many providers have made the decision

In Toronto, 587 of the 1,042 licensed child-care centres have applied to opt in while 32 have opted out.

"We're opting in," said Penny Bowser, supervisor at Olivia DiMaio Day Care Centres. "We think it's a great opportunity for our parents. We think it'll bring a sense of community to the childcare sector as a whole. It brings more equality to everybody."

Parents like Ruth Barkou-King feel the program will help immensely and anxiously wait to see it become tangible.

"We want to grow our family so when we have to pay for more of our children to go to childcare it will really help with our financial situation in general,” Barkou-King said.

Earlier this year, the feds announced a five-year deal to reduce child care fees.

While some are glad to see the deadline pushed back, others are stuck in a waiting game to see if their child care provider will sign up.

"Unfortunately that money hasn't flowed from the government to the municipalities and then to the operators," said Gilbert.

Bowser added, "We're listening to what the government is telling us so yes do I have faith that it's coming. Yep, I do."

The government also promised to create 86,000 new licensed early learning and child care spaces in the province.

If we don't address those concerns about recruitment and retention it's gonna be very hard to create more spots," said Gilbert. "Because there's not going to be the staff there to run a decent quality program.” Top Stories

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