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Kids and parents hold 'play in' protest at city hall over accessible child care

Children and parents protest at city hall over affordable child care, Feb. 7, 2017. CITYNEWS/Cynthia Mulligan

A group of pint-sized protesters took their cry for accessible child care right to the mayor’s office on Tuesday.

About a dozen pre-schoolers and their parents held a peaceful (and adorable) “play in” outside John Tory’s office over the noon hour to push for more affordable and accessible child care and recreation services.

City councillors Janet Davis, Joe Cressy, Mike Layton and Krystyn Wong-Tam joined the crowd in a sing-a-long.

Coun. Layton even brought along his ukulele.

The protest comes a day after Tory announced the city had found the funds to maintain the Occupancy Grant for another year.

“This $1.13-million investment in 2017 will mean that the parents of more than 8,000 children in Toronto will not see their fees go up on account of any change to those occupancy grants,” Tory said.

He also called on the provincial government to step up and fund child care programs at Toronto District School Board schools.

“The fact of the matter is, the city is subsidizing childcare centres inside schools owned and operated by school boards funded largely by the province and by the very significant education taxes that people pay as part of their property tax bill,” he argued.

Last month Tory announced that the city would be funding 300 new child care subsidies the 2017 operating budget.

However, there are currently more than 17,500 children on the affordable child-care waiting list.