Ontario Building and Improving SchoolsPublished on November 23, 2021
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.
- On November 4, the province released the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario. The plan lays out how the government will build the foundation for Ontario’s recovery and prosperity by getting shovels in the ground on projects like new schools and child care.
- Since 2018, the Ontario government has invested over $1.5 billion in capital projects in education, including 76 new schools, 75 additions and renovation to existing facilities and 4,908 new licensed child care spaces.
- For 2021-22, the province is also providing school boards with $1.4 billion in funding to renew and maintain existing schools.
- The governments of Canada and Ontario are providing $656.5 million in funding for critical infrastructure projects to protect students and staff from COVID-19 in the province's schools through the COVID-19 Resilience stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.
- The federal government provides 2.5 per cent of the total cost support for early learning and child care operating expenses in Ontario, with Ontario families, the provincial and municipal governments providing the remainder.
- Ontario has provided emergency child care for the school-aged children of frontline workers, including public safety and health care workers, as well as those working with vulnerable populations, at no out-of-pocket cost. In 2021, at its peak, this program provided over 12,000 children with high-quality child care each day across 717 sites province-wide.
- Ontario is providing a 20 per cent enhancement of the Childcare Access and Relief from Expenses (CARE) tax credit for 2021. This will increase support from $1,250 to $1,500 per family, on average, providing about $75 million in additional support for the 2021 child care expenses of over 300,000 families.
- Infrastructure Ontario (IO) will work closely with the province and school boards to explore using an accelerated approach to school construction. IO is working with ministries and other broader public sector partners to help deliver vital infrastructure – including Long-Term Care homes and correctional facilities – smarter, better and faster than traditional methods.
"As Mississauga continues to develop and grow as a world-class city, our government is committed to supporting residents with the infrastructure needed to keep pace. By prioritising investments in the future of our children in an unprecedented way, and maintaining a world-class education for every child in Ontario, we are ensuring that Mississauga remains one of the best places in the world to raise a family."
- Natalia Kusendova
MPP for Mississauga Centre
"We are thrilled that ground has been broken for this school and students will have the opportunity to learn from some of our great teachers at Elm Drive Public School. We are also pleased that parents and caregivers with young children will be able to have wonderful experiences in the EarlyON Child and Family Centre. By partnering with school boards through investments in new student and child care spaces, the Ontario government is providing access to quality learning opportunities that will help students realize academic success now and in the years to come."
- Rashmi Swarup
Director of Education for Peel District School Board