Ontario boosts annual funding for long-term care staffing, supporting more direct care for residents
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MARCH 15, 2022
BAY OF QUINTE – As part of its plan to fix long-term care, the Ontario government will provide up to $673 million more this year to long-term care homes across the province to increase staffing levels, leading to more direct care for residents.
This includes $7,857,960 for long-term care homes in Bay of Quinte. This is part of the province’s commitment to ensure long-term care residents receive —on average— four hours of direct care per day by 2024-2025. These funds will increase care for residents in each of the nine long-term care homes in Bay of Quinte. Allocations for 2022-2023 are as follows:
- Hastings Manor, in Bellville, will receive up to $2,206,512 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
- McFarland Home for the Aged, in Picton, will receive up to $732,588 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
- Westgate Lodge Nursing Home, in Belleville, will receive up to $645,384 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
- Trent Valley Lodge Nursing Home, in Trenton, will receive up to $889,572 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
- Kentwood Park, in Picton, will receive up to $296,520 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
- West Lake Terrace, in Picton, will receive up to $287,808 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
- Crown Ridge Place, in Trenton, will receive up to $1,064,016 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
- Belmont Nursing Home, in Belleville, will receive up to $1,116,336 for additional staffing this year to increase the hours of direct care for residents.
“This funding will allow homes in our community to hire and retain more staff so they can provide more care to residents, every day,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “This is part of our government’s plan to hire thousands of new staff over the next four years to ensure those living in long-term care get the high-quality care they need and deserve.”
“We know that more qualified staff means more daily care for residents,” said Paul Calandra, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Hiring more staff is part of our government’s plan to fix long-term care and to improve the quality of care residents receive and the quality of life they experience.”
Seniors entering long-term care today are older and have more complex medical needs than they did just a decade ago. The level of care residents need has increased dramatically, but the amount of care they receive each day has not. In the nine years, between 2009 and 2018, the amount of care each resident received, by all providers, per day increased by only 22 minutes. Our government, over the span of four years, will increase direct hours of care by 1 hour and 21 minutes.
The government is investing $4.9 billion over four years to boost direct resident care to an average of four hours daily by increasing care staff by more than 27,000 people. Hiring thousands of new staff at long-term homes and increasing the amount of care they deliver each year will be made possible by annual funding increases to homes:
- $270 million in 2021-2022
- $673 million in 2022-2023
- $1.25 billion in 2023-2024
- $1.82 billion in 2024-2025
- Ontario now has over 24,000 new and 19,000 upgraded beds in the development pipeline, which means more than 80 per cent of 30,000 net new beds are in the planning, construction and opening stages of the development process.
- In 2021-2022, the province invested $200 million to train up to 16,200 additional personal support workers through publicly assisted colleges, private career colleges and district school boards.
- In 2021-2022, the province also invested $35 million to add up to 2,000 additional nursing students at publicly assisted colleges and universities across the province, for the Fall 2021 and Winter 2022 incoming cohorts.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, FEB. 21, 2022
BAY OF QUINTE – Following two years of global learning disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ontario government announced record education funding of $26.6 billion for the 2022-23 school year. The funding will support learning recovery and fund mental health supports for students to allow a return to a more normal school year next year.
As part of the announcement, Minister of Education Stephen Lecce recently unveiled Ontario’s Learning Recovery Action Plan – a five-point plan to strengthen learning recovery in reading and math, anchored by the largest provincial investment in tutoring supports, summer learning and mental health.
“COVID-19 has impacted every single person living in Ontario, including students,” said Todd Smith, MPP for Bay of Quinte. “These investments will ensure students in our region have access to the supports they need to recover from the pandemic disruptions so that they can reach their full potential. Recognizing the importance of mental health, our government is also providing additional resources to ensure students feel safe and supported at school.”
Highlights from Ontario’s record investment in public education include:
- A $683.9 million increase in Grants for Student Needs (GSN) funding, with projected total funding of $26.1 billion. This represents a 2.7 per cent increase from 2021-22
- Average per pupil GSN funding is projected to rise to $13,059, which is an increase of $339 or a 2.7 per cent increase from 2021-22
- Over $500 million in Priorities and Partnerships Funding (PPF)
- $90 million in total mental health investments, representing a 420 per cent increase in funding since 2017-18
- $15 million to deliver expanded summer learning opportunities
- $92.9 million increase in Special Education Grant funding through the GSN where it is projected to increase to over $3.25 billion, the highest amount ever provided in Special Education Grant funding
- $304 million in time-limited additional staffing supports, through the COVID-19 Learning Recovery Fund as part of the GSN. This funding will go towards the hiring of an estimated 3,000 front line staff – including teachers, early childhood educators, educational assistants, and other education workers to address learning recovery
The government is also continuing to provide $1.4 billion for the repair and renewal of schools for the 2022-23 school year.
For students in the five school boards with schools in Bay of Quinte, GSN funding will total $1,459,378,023, allocated as follows:
- $156,410,294 for the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, including $2 million in learning recovery funding, $20.4 million in special education funding, $963,000 in mental health and well-being funding, and $11.7 million in transportation funding. (2021-2022 projection: $153,228,123)
- $273,045,744 for Conseil des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario, including $2.78 million in learning recovery funding, $31.3 million in special education funding, $1.2 million in mental health an well-being funding, and $16.5 million in transportation funding. (2021-2022 projection: $262,858,884)
- $389,994,108 for Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est, including $3.9 million in learning recovery funding, $48.7 million in special education funding, $1.7 million in mental health and well-being funding, and $20.7 million in transportation funding. (2021-2022 projection: $376,955,541)
- $205,170,155 for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board, including $2.5 million in learning recovery funding, $26.5 million in special education funding, $1 million in mental health and well-being funding, and $15.6 million in transportation funding. (2021-2022 projection: $199,663,052)
- $434,757,722 for the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, including $4.97 million in learning recovery funding, $56.2 million in special education funding, $1.7 million in mental health and well-being funding, and $24.4 million in transportation funding. (2021-2022 projection: $416,939,832)
“No government in Ontario history has invested more in public education, tutoring supports, mental health, and special education than ours led by Premier Ford,” said Lecce. “We are bridging learning gaps that have emerged over the past years through a massive increase in small group tutoring programs and through the expansion of mental health supports to benefit children across all schools in Ontario.”
The Ontario government’s $600-million Learning Recovery Action Plan will help students recover from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic and will be available to students this year and into next school year. $175 million is being invested to expand access to free publicly funded tutoring in small groups after school, during school, on weekends and over the summer. This province-wide program will start in April 2022 and continue until Dec. 31, 2022 to ensure continuity of access to tutoring to ensure students can catch-up as they start the next school year.
The plan leverages and expands proven, high-yield programs and supports, and introduces new initiatives to address critical gaps, with the following five pillars:
- Introducing comprehensive tutoring supports for students through school boards that will also include partnerships with community organizations
- Supporting student resilience and mental well being
- Strengthening numeracy and literacy skills
- Modernizing curriculum and programs to emphasize job and life skills
- Resuming EQAO assessments to measure and assess learning levels
As part of its commitment to support student mental health and well-being in 2022-23, Ontario will be investing more than $90 million including $10 million in new funding, of which $5 million is to be used for evidence based mental health programs and resources. This funding will help to retain the existing mental health workers in schools, including the 180 mental health professionals that are providing critical supports directly to students in secondary schools across the province.
In addition, the Ministry of Education, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, will engage with a wide range of stakeholders to leverage the best available evidence on emerging student mental health needs. Consultations are expected to start in summer 2022.
The mental health components of the learning recovery plan may include:
- Mandatory professional development on mental health for educators
- Working with the Ministry of Health to consult with stakeholders to leverage the best available evidence on emerging student mental health needs and the potential of a graduation requirement on resilience and mental well-being
- Continuing to support student resilience and well-being with the following goals:
- mentally healthy classrooms and learning environments
- effective and responsive school mental health and addictions supports
- connections to the broader comprehensive system of mental health care.
The Ontario government also announced $26 million to renew funding for school-focused nurses in public health units, with up to 625 nurses supporting student health and well-being, along with and infection prevention and control plans and other supports to keep schools as safe as possible.
- The Ministry of Education provides operating funding to Ontario’s 72 district school boards and 10 school authorities through the annual GSN education funding model. Funding to school boards is provided on a combination of per-student, per-school, and per-board basis.
- Since August 2020, more than $600 million has been allocated to improve ventilation and filtration in schools as part of the province’s efforts to protect against COVID-19. These investments have resulted in improvements to existing ventilation systems; deployment of over 70,000 HEPA filter units and other ventilation devices to schools, with an additional 3,000 HEPA units being provided; upgrades to school ventilation infrastructure; and increased transparency through public posting of school board standardized ventilation measure reports.
- As part of the government’s ongoing efforts to improve and modernize infrastructure, Ontario announced over $565 million in the 2021-22 school year to build 26 new schools and 20 permanent additions to existing schools, which will create new construction jobs and provide nearly 20,000 new student spaces across the province once complete.
- In recognition of increasing demands for digital learning in the classroom and increased network capacity, Ontario will be investing an additional $40 million in the 2022-23 GSN, to support the cost of associated with network connectivity, infrastructure, security and related operations in schools and school board buildings as usage increases and technology evolves.
- Under the Broadband Modernization Program, all schools across Ontario are equipped to provide adequate, reliable access to all students for online learning.
Ontario’s Learning Recovery Action Plan for Students: Ontario’s Learning Recovery Action Plan for Students | Ontario Newsroom
BELLEVILLE – As part of Ontario's ongoing efforts to build and improve local schools, the province has provided the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board with approval to award the tender for construction of a $19.8-million addition to St. Joseph Elementary School.
The addition will provide a new, quality learning environment for the students of Belleville with more than 300 new student spaces, three child care rooms, and two EarlyON rooms. This project is part of the province’s capital investment program to support students with better learning spaces.
“Our government’s support for a new addition to St. Joseph Catholic School is great news for our community,” said Todd Smith, the MPP for Bay of Quinte. “This investment will ensure families and students have access to a quality learning environment in the years to come.”
Ontario’s investment in new and updated schools will create the foundation for a modern learning environment for thousands of students across the province.
“Our government is committed to keeping students learning in-person with improved ventilation, internet connectivity, and safety top of mind,” said Minister of Education Stephen Lecce. “By building an addition to St. Joseph Elementary School, our government is supporting Belleville families with modern schools and a new child care centre for local families."
Highlights of the addition include:
- 334 elementary student spaces
- 49 licensed child care spaces
- three child care rooms
- two EarlyON rooms
St. Joseph Elementary School is located at 405 Bridge Street East in Belleville.
Tom Dall, the Board Chair at the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, welcomed provincial approval to proceed with the project.
“Our Catholic schools are faith filled learning communities where each member is loved, inspired and successful. This addition to St. Joseph Catholic School will provide these students and the community with even more opportunities to excel and reach their full potential,” said Dall.
The Ontario government has allocated more than $600 million to support ventilation improvements in schools across Ontario as part of its plans for a safer return to school. The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board has benefited from an investment of $5.2 million for ventilation improvements and has 751 HEPA filter units in place.
- 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 renovations to existing facilities and 4,908 new licensed child care places.
- 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.