rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

What publicly funded child care means to parents

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca in its summer fundraiser today for as little as $5 per month!

Lindsay Windhager is one of the lucky few.

She doesn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get her children fed and dressed in time to catch a bus and a train in order to drop her son off at daycare miles from where they live.

She doesn't have to board another bus with her daughter so she can leave her at a different child-care centre. And then make it to work on time so she doesn't risk losing her job.

Or repeat the process after she finishes work in the evening.

For many, that's their slavish routine. Their grim reality. Tough on youngsters. Even harder for their parents.

The Davenport-Perth resident now has both her children enrolled in child care, partially subsidized by the city of Toronto.

At first, she had to get by with no subsidy and place her son in a daycare outside her neighbourhood. That was the only option available at the time.

"To access a spot you have to put your name on the wait-list pretty much at the time that you're pregnant and hope that you're going to connect with spots," she says.

Although frustrated and confused when she began the process seven years ago, she says things are even worse for new parents now.

When her daughter's daycare closed, Windhager was forced to find another spot for her within the system.

Most parents aren't able to access a spot and a subsidy together, so they're left to throw things together as best they can.

At the same time, they're always worrying which daycares will be closed during the next round of cuts.

Three more child-care centres are already on the chopping block. Without increased municipal and provincial funding, that trend will continue.

"The system is pretty much in a total state of crisis and is definitely in need of expansion," she says.

Unfortunately, the Ford administration is headed in the opposite direction.

That means increased fees for those without subsidies (who are already shouldering most of the financial burden) forcing some of them into second-rate, lower quality care options.

Or forced to rely on friends and family from week to week.

In Windhager's case, she finally has her two children in the same child-care centre that's close to where she works.

But there are another 20,000 children who are still waiting for subsidies.

"The system is in need of proper funding and expansion to make it accessible and affordable for all," she says.

So their parents don't have to rob a a bank to pay for child care. Or spend half the day commuting to and from child-care centres.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.