June 12, 2020
Statement on status of child care in Peterborough City & County
Peterborough Supervisor’s Network
We stand together to respond to the announcement by Stephen Lecce on June 9 that child care could reopen on Friday, June 12.
We agree that we must defer reopening our child care programs until the following conditions are met:
- Reinstatement of funding to cover all costs during the closure period, including staff wages and
- A base funding model that would cover reopening costs for extra staffing, reduced fee income, cleaning supplies, PPE, alternate materials and staff training.
Child Care operators across the province have partnered with the Ontario Coalition for Better Child and the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Ontario, and were involved in the production of an excellent reopening plan. Despite this input, the provincial government made the decision to reopen with very little notice, a lack of consultation by experts, and without addressing the retroactive funding decision that has left child care organizations across the province in a deficit position, after asserting that child care was a priority, and staff should be retained.
- All licensed child care in Ontario receives funding to subsidize parent fees
- Based on a memo from the Provincial Ministry of Education in late March we received correspondence from the municipalities that they would continue to flow child care funding
- Several organizations continued to pay our staff and home child care providers at 100% in order to maintain wellbeing, continue communications with families and children, participate in professional development, and virtual meetings to ensure our workforce would be ready when we reopened
- 10 weeks into the closure, the Province announced their “sustainability plan” for child care which retroactively prohibited any provincial funding from being used for staff wages and allowed for only a very narrow definition of “fixed costs” (not including wages)
- Municipalities were then told staff wages could only come from municipal and federal funding, however, we are hearing that municipalities are unsure if they have the funds to support this plan, leaving child care organizations with unexpected deficits and no ability to reopen
As child care operators, we all want to open our centres to our families. We want to do it safely and to provide a healthy, joyful spaces for children to spend their days. This is not possible without sufficient funding.
Until the above conditions are met, we will not be able to reopen and resume child care operations.
Signatories, with approval of their Boards of Directors:
Northern Lights Children’s Daycare Centre
Compass Early Learning & Care
Trent Child Care
Northview Day Care & Nursery School
Nursery Two Child Care
Centre Éducatif Les Petits Curieux
Hucklebug Child Care Centre
All Seasons Learning Centre
Strath MacLean Child Care Centre
Sunshine Child Care
St. Patrick/St. Catherine Day Care