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New business connects parents with day care vacancies [CA-MB]

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CBC Manitoba
Publication Date: 
18 Oct 2004

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Parents in Brandon are having a hard time finding day care for their children &em; and a woman there is capitalizing on the situation.

Most day care centres in Brandon are full and have a waiting list. The provincial government's online child-care search website returns no results for weekday vacancies in Brandon for children of any age.

Trish Watt became frustrated with the situation while looking for day care for her four-month-old son.

"There were no resources out there to help me find it," she says. "What you do is you go to the province of Manitoba and they give you a list of a 100 or so different names, and you have to go through that list &em; each one &em; and call them over and over again."

As a result of her experience, Watt is starting a service that matches parents with day cares or babysitters. She's a kind of day care "broker" who will keep track of any day care centres that have spaces and refer parents to them. If she's successful, she charges parents $40.

Barb Baumung with the Southwest Daycare in Brandon admits day care is tight in Brandon, but says the problem will ultimately be solved only by opening more spaces, which requires more trained early-childhood educators.

"You can tell parents are very frustrated," she says. "The government's talking about opening more spaces, which is wonderful, but my concern is who is going to work these spaces, because there's such a lack of trained ECEs."

- reprinted from CBC Manitoba