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The federal government has pledged over $200-million to increase access to child care in Ontario.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in St Thomas on Monday where he and other federal officials announced $201.87 million through the Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund.

“Affordable child care gives moms and dads the opportunity to build their careers, helps families save money, and gives kids the best start to life,” Trudeau said. “With Budget 2024, we’re creating more child care spaces, hiring more early childhood educators, giving them more training, and working with provinces like Ontario to make sure families get the care they deserve.”

The funding will support the creation and maintenance of child care facilities while offering inclusive services for already established programs.

Trudeau hopes the funding will help the province reach its goal of creating 86,000 new child-care spaces by 2026, with an average cost of $10 a day.

The goal is to create more spaces in rural and remote regions, high-cost and low-income urban neighbourhoods, and communities that face barriers to access, including racialized groups, Indigenous Peoples, official language minority communities, newcomers, as well as parents, caregivers, and children with disabilities.

“Affordable, high-quality child care has provided families with financial relief and is giving thousands of children the best possible start in life,” said Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Over 3,000,000 families in Ontario are already benefitting from thousands of dollars in savings in their childcare fees each year.”