April 29, 2022 – BGC Canada (formerly Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada) was pleased to see funding for a province-wide early learning and child care program in the Ontario Budget tabled yesterday. The $13.2 billion dollar investment, provided through an agreement with the federal government, will ensure lower costs and increased access to quality child care options for Ontario families. BGC Canada continues to urge all levels of government to provide affordable, flexible child care for all early years and school aged children.
Evidence shows how important before and after school programs are to child development and supporting our economy. That’s why in our pre-budget submission, BGC Canada called for increased investments in the Ontario After School Program (OASP). Provincial support through OASP is critical in ensuring that BGC Clubs can continue to deliver high-quality, low cost programs for all school aged children and youth. Now, more than ever, young people need welcoming and safe spaces to learn, make friends, and become active and engaged community members. BGC Canada will continue to advocate for the Ontario government to invest more in OASP and its positive impact on families across the province.
BGC Canada was also pleased to see an increased investment in the Roadmap to Wellness, which will increase youth access to mental health and addiction services across the province.
“The 2022 provincial budget has made real progress towards providing child care opportunities for families across the province that need it the most,” says Owen Charters, President & CEO, BGC Canada. “But we are calling on the provincial government to invest more in the Ontario After School Program. Young people and their families were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and nonprofits, including BGC Clubs, are on the front lines providing support to families, many who live in vulnerable communities. Our Clubs provide an important connection for youth to mental wellness programs, mentorship, employment, and other supports, and we know that further investment in before and after school programs and the charitable sector is needed to ensure this generation is not left behind.”
About BGC Canada
For 120+ years, BGC Canada has been creating opportunities for millions of Canadian kids and teens. As Canada’s largest child and youth serving charitable organization, our Clubs open their doors to young people and their families at 775 locations nationwide. During out-of-school hours in small and large cities, and rural and Indigenous communities, our trained staff and volunteers provide programs and services that help young people realize positive outcomes in self-expression, academics, healthy living, physical activity, job readiness, mental health, leadership, and more. Opportunity changes everything.
To read BGC Canada’s Guiding Principles for a National Childcare Program, click here.