Starting in July 2014, hundreds of thousands of Ontario families will receive another increase of up to $100 annually while many families will become eligible for the Ontario Child Benefit for the first time. With this increase, the benefit will have more than doubled to up to $1310 annually. As part of Budget 2014, starting July 2015, the province proposes to tie future increases to the Ontario Child Benefit to inflation in Ontario to help eligible families keep pace with the rising costs of raising their children. Providing the best possible care for our children also includes recruiting and retaining the best possible early childhood educators and front-line child care workers so children are better able to learn and parents have greater peace of mind. To help recruit and retain workers by providing fairer wages, Ontario is proposing an increase of an average of two dollars per hour for early childhood educators and other front-line child care workers. The first increase will be an average of one dollar per hour and will start January 2015. Increasing the Ontario Child Benefit and improving the quality of licensed child care is part of Ontario’s plan to break down barriers for low-income Ontarians, reduce poverty and improve public services. Helping families raise healthy children also supports the government’s economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow by focusing on Ontario’s greatest strengths — its people and strategic partnerships.
- Families with an annual net income of $20,000 or less receive the full OCB benefit for each child under the age of 18. Families earning more may be eligible for partial benefits based on their income and the number of children under the age of 18.
- Ontario first created the Ontario Child Benefit in 2008, which has increased from $600 to $1,310 as of July 2014, helping to lift nearly 60, 000 children out of poverty.
- Together, by increasing the Ontario Child Benefit to $1,310 in July 2014 and indexing it to inflation in Ontario beginning July 2015, the government proposes to invest $160 million more in benefits to families with children under the age of 18 across Ontario.
- Ontario families can save up to $6,500 per year in child care costs by enrolling their children in full-day kindergarten.
- There are approximately 42,000 program staff, including about 17,000 registered early childhood educators in Ontario, that are eligible for this wage enhancement.
- Along with introducing the Child Care Modernization Act, Ontario has also updated the funding formula to be more responsive to local needs and to improve the quality of the province’s licensed child care system.
“Every child in this province deserves the best possible start in life. Increasing the Ontario Child Benefit and ensuring it keeps pace with inflation in Ontario is a vital part of our plan to help all children reach their full potential.” – Teresa Piruzza, Minister of Children and Youth Services
“The Ontario Child Benefit is about maintaining fair, dependable support for Ontario families. We are also committed to promoting greater economic growth that ensures greater opportunity for Ontarians.” – Charles Sousa, Minister of Finance
“We value the hard work and dedication of early childhood educators and child care staff across Ontario. This wage increase will help retain these valued caregivers, ensuring stable, high-quality licenced child care programs for our children.” – Liz Sandals, Minister of Education