The Junior Citizen Day Care Centre Should Remain Open
  

Date:                     September 20, 2014

To:                        Media

From:                    Robert Kirwan
                             Candidate for Councillor of Ward 5

Re:                         The Junior Citizen Day Care Centre Should Remain Open

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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 city.

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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