MISSISSAUGA — Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, joined by Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure, and Natalia Kusendova, MPP for Mississauga Centre, announced that the Ontario government is making major investments to build and improve schools and create more licensed child care spaces across the province. The government announced that two capital building programs representing $600 million in funding is being invested to support 78 school and child care related projects.
The newly approved Capital Priorities Program projects will create 19,700 new student spaces, and 1,525 new licensed child care spaces in schools. These new spaces will be supported by an investment of $565 million, which will see 26 new schools and 20 permanent additions and renovations built. In addition, the Ontario government will collaborate with several school boards in this round of Capital Priorities funding to expand solutions for accelerated school construction through a pilot project using modular construction methods. This will deliver efficiencies in construction and reduce build times so that students can take advantage of new and updated schools sooner.
The investment is part of the Ontario government’s commitment to provide $14 billion to support school construction over ten years. There are currently more than 300 child care and education building-related projects in development across Ontario with more than 100 actively under construction.
“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have made safer schools a priority, which is why we continue to invest in modern and accessible learning spaces with improved ventilation,” said Minister Lecce. “This investment is part of our multiyear plan to build, expand, and update schools and child care spaces across our province. It will leave a lasting legacy that benefits working families for years to come.”
An additional $42.6 million through the Early Years Capital Program will go toward renovations or additions of 32 child care centres located in schools across the province. This will create over 1,500 new licensed child care spaces to provide families with more options for their children.
“After years of neglect under the previous government, we are stepping up to support families by investing in affordable and accessible child care that meets their needs,” added Minister Lecce. “These investments are key to our economic recovery and further evidence of how our government continues to lead the way when it comes to investing in child care.”
The support for school-based child care centres is part of the government’s commitment to invest up to $1 billion in the creation of up to 30,000 new licensed child care spaces over five years. To date, over 23,000 new spaces have been approved, which will support families and ensure a strong and accessible child care system.
“Our government is committed to Building Ontario and putting the necessary infrastructure in place that will help the young, bright minds of our province grow, learn, and develop,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “Today’s announcement is another example of how we are supporting families as they navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and setting them on a path towards a safe and successful recovery.”
Today’s announcement was made at Elm Drive Public School in Mississauga. On April 8, 2020, the province announced that Peel District School Board received Approval to Proceed for a total funding allocation of $19.8 million to build a new school featuring 650 new student spaces, four child care rooms and one EarlyON Child and Family Centre room.