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More than half of Canadian children under age 5 are in some form of child
care and the number has been on the rise for several years,
according to one of the latest Statistics Canada reports on this
matter. In a study done not too long ago it was discovered that
54% of all children were in child care. Significant in this
study is that this reflects an increase from 42% in 1995,
indicating a trend that is on the rise.
Child Care is described as any non-parental care including a nanny, a
babysitter, licensed daycare or care by a relative. And while
advocates continue to pressure the Federal government for a
National Child Care Program, City Councillors must still be
aware of the local needs of young families.
Ward 5, and indeed the entire community of Valley East, is in dire need
of more child-care spaces in the form of day-care centres. This
is a growing sector of the City of Greater Sudbury. Young
families with both parents working is becoming the norm. It is
indeed a luxury for a couple to be financially in a position
where one of the spouses can remain home and raise their
children. But there is a shortage of day care spaces in the
We can do all we want with respect to trying to attract people to the
area. If we cannot provide for the day care needs of young
families, they will not move to the Sudbury region. It is that
simple. We must provide the services first, and then try to
attract the people to the area.
I intend to do a great deal of work with day care centres and other forms
of non-parental child care providers to see what we can do as a
City to improve the situation. My knowledge of the education
system and my connections with all school boards will enable me
to be a catalyst to help the parties work together in the best
interests of all children. This background in education will
enable me to analyze and provide consultation to the people
administering the child care services in the community. This must be one of our top
priorities over the next four years.
Junior Citizens Day Care Services
It looks as if one of the decisions facing a new council in the
New Year will be the fate of the Junior Citizens Day Care that
operates out of the YMCA building in the downtown. Currently,
there are 120 spots with 22 employees who are municipal
employees because this day care is the only one owned by the
Because these are union positions, the wages are about 50%
higher than in the other private day care sites, which makes
this day care more expensive to operate. The subsidy for the
Junior Citizens Day Care Centre is $6,304 per child, compared to
$3,063 for non-city facilities. Staff has begun the process of
looking for expressions of interest from other private day care
operators to run the Junior Citizens Day Care centre.
Apparently the City can save $129,000 per year by closing the
centre and giving the operation to a private day care provider.
The number of day care spaces that will be lost by funding cuts
will be between 418 and 605. Therefore, the City Council is
facing a dilemma. We can't afford to see the number of day care
spaces in this city reduced.
Proposal To Maintain Status Quo
I will be proposing that the city immediately enter into a
partnership agreement with a private sector provider. The main
condition will be that they must use our current staff and pay
them the same rate as they are now getting paid. The city will
subsidize the difference in rate and in the meantime, we will be
transferring the employees to vacancies as they come up in some
other department. As our employees are transferred out of the
day care, the private provider will be able to hire another
person to fill the vacancy. Once all of our former employees are
transferred out, we will dissolve the partnership and allow the
private sector provider to take responsibility for the entire
operation. This whole process may take up to two years, but as
we begin saving from the extra subsidy in wages, that money can
be used to fund other spaces in the city.
This will satisfy the unions since no one is going to lose their
jobs or their salary levels and it will allow us to maintain the
Junior Citizen Day Care services to the parents.
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