Schools in affluent areas more likely to offer after-hours child care, study finds

A survey by People for Education has found major gaps in the delivery of before- and after-school programs for young students — despite this being a key part of the province’s full-day kindergarten plan.  Toronto Star June 23, 2014

Schools with full-day kindergarten are no more likely to offer before- and after-school child care than those that don’t have it, despite it being a key part of the original plan for Ontario’s youngest students, says a new report by People for Education.

And schools that do have after-hours care are more likely to be in affluent neighbourhoods, the advocacy group found in its annual survey.

“What we are seeing is that the implementation of the stuff around full-day kindergarten has been a problem from the beginning,” said executive director Annie Kidder.

“Initially, the idea was to have extended, seamless day programs. Schools would offer the child care and it would be available to everybody … It’s still a struggle for schools in terms of offering it, but it is also a problem because of the cost.”

People for Education, in its survey of principals at 1,349 schools across the province, found that at 77 per cent of schools where family incomes are high, before- and after-school care is available, compared with 52 per cent of schools with low family incomes.

The cost for the care runs roughly $100 to $150 a week.

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