Letter regarding the threatened abrupt closure of Centre éducatif Beausoleil.
[The following letter was sent to Councillor Mathieu Fleury and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson]
I am writing on behalf of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC) to express my concern about the situation at Centre éducatif Beausoleil. I urge the City of Ottawa to work to find an alternate space for the program if needed during renovations, and allow the program to continue in its current space as much as possible.
Beausoleil is one of only two municipal francophone centres in Ottawa; it offers a rare and vital service to families. Given the shortage of child care spaces in Ottawa – and francophone spaces especially – this closure will put undue stress on these families.
As Ontario’s central advocacy group for child care, the OCBCC is comprised of hundreds of child care centres, parents, grandparents, ECEs, trade unionists and concerned citizens – most importantly we are people who care about child care. We believe that publicly delivered child care should form the backbone of our child care in Ontario, and that every municipality must do its utmost to be a true service system manager, a responsible operator of child care, and a careful steward of these vital programs.
It is thus quite unsettling to learn of the abrupt notice of closure given to Beausoleil parents and staff by the City of Ottawa. As a local parent pointed out, these renovations must have been expected and a plan needed to be in place to accommodate the program’s needs. Going forward, we expect that the City will take its responsibility to these families much more seriously.
Child care services are a key part of our municipal infrastructure in Ontario – providing much needed support to working parents, and nurturing care and education to our children. We urge the City of Ottawa to work ensure that Beausoleil can continue to provide these much needed benefits to local families.
Public Policy and Government Relations Coordinator
Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care
- RELATED LINK: CBC News: Parents try to save francophone daycare set to close in August