School-based daycares fear eviction for refusing to run before-and after-school programs

The Toronto Star 

“Daycare parents are angry about the loss of hot lunches, inadequate noon-hour supervision and the revolving door of staff their children will have to deal with during the day. They also worry they may be left with no care for their children during the summer if some kids drop out and the program has to fold.”

“Daycares outside Toronto are under pressure due to chronic under-funding and the loss of 4- and 5- year-olds to full day kindergarten, said Andrea Calver, of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

“Eighty-eight daycares in Toronto schools are offering before- and after-school programs this year and at least one-third are feeling pressured to do it, says Jane Mercer of the Toronto Coalition for Better Child Care.

The province has downloaded this program onto school boards who have side-loaded it to community-based child care and said, ‘here, you do it.’ ” Mercer said. “But daycares are left to cover all the start-up costs, scramble to find qualified staff willing to work split shifts and then charge fees that don’t cover the real cost.

“We would like the city to stand with us and push back on the school boards and the province,” she said.”

“Under provincial regulations, parents are expected to pay the full cost of before- and after-school programs, with a limited number of subsidies available for low-income families. But the strict rules make it difficult for some daycares to integrate the program with their care for older and younger children.”

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