June 4th, 2014
Lambton County council voted Wednesday in favour of holding off on a decision on the Sarnia day care pending the results of the upcoming provincial election. A new Ontario government could reintroduce the $1.3 million in annual provincial funding cut by the Liberals. The county was handed $5 million in transitional funding from the province. To date, the county has used $1.2 million of those funds to cover off a day-care deficit in 2013 and it expects to use $1.1 million in 2014. Coronation Park wages range from $28 to $34 per hour compared to the average rate of $12 to $16 in the private sector. While the salaries and benefits of Coronation Park workers would need to be cut at least in half to cover the bulk of the $1.1-million deficit. Using the transitional funding solely for Coronation Park will impact other children's services offered by the county.
Ontario's NDP leader, Andrea Horwath, said a New Democrat government would put a stop to the cuts and provide funding to STOP closures of child care centres such as Sarnia's Coronation Park Day Nursery. A petition opposing the possible child care centre closures was submitted with 1,200 names on it.
May 13th, 2014
Blackburn News: May 8, 2014
In Wyoming this morning, Lambton County Councillors agreed to give employees, parents and the union, CUPE Local 2926, 21 days to report back with financial statements and other possible options.
"As a result of all of the email correspondence, telephone calls and one to one discussion, it was obvious the public was concerned there hadn't been enough of a public process and discussion between the union, employees, parents and county staff." said councillor Elizabeth Davis-Dagg,d eputy mayor of Lambton Shores.
Read the full article here.
The Observer: May 6, 2014
For Terri Lynn Sullivan, Coronation Park Day Nursery is her helping hand out of poverty. "It's been [my kids] stability while I've been able to stabilize myself" said the Sarnia mother, who has battled both domestic abuse and addictions. "WIthout it, I don't see how I would be here today."
But Sullivan - like other parents who rely on the daycare centre to help pull themselves out of poverty - may have to find support elsewhere if Lambton County council decides to shutter Coronation Park Day Nursery at its Thursday meeting. Nine delegations comprised of parents, reitred workers, another daycare provider and even children are signed up to speak at Thursday's meeting to debate the proposed child care closure.
Click here to read the full article, and check back for updates following Thursday's debate.
CUPE: April 14, 2014
"Front line child care workers are urging Lambton County council’s standing committee to reject senior management’s proposal to close Coronation Park Day Nursery. The 38 early childhood educators (ECEs), cooks, maintenance and clerical staff that operate the highly- popular and in-demand county-operated day care centre are represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)."
“Our elected officials must show leadership and invest in public services that matter to our community,” says Mary Aikin, president of CUPE 2926. “Coronation Park Day Nursery is a top- notch, high-quality child care centre with a long waiting list for families wanting their children to have the best start in life.”
Click here to read the CUPE press release.
April 28th 2014: MarketWired: Lambton County parents and child care workers campaign to keep Coronation Park open
April 16th 2014: The Observer: Councillors Split on Day Care Closure
April 15th 2014: The Observer: Lambton County councillors set to discuss closure of Coronation Park Day Nursery Wednesday
April 11th 2014: The Observer: Future uncertain for Sarnia centre that provides care for 158 children
April 11th 2014: The Observer: Report estimates severance and other administrative costs to shutdown Sarnia childcare centre