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Child-care crunch predicted for city [CA-AB]

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Saelhof, Todd
Publication Date: 
14 Jul 2006

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Some city day-care operators say a childcare crunch is looming in Calgary because of poor wages and lack of government support.

Lorna Lukas says she grew weary of jumping through financial and administrative hoops for her Family 'n' Friends Childcare, one of a handful of Calgary daycares to shut down recently.

"It's because of a lack of government support and difficulty of hiring and retaining staff," said Lukas, whose centre in the city's northwest went out of business June 30.

Lukas lost her assistant director of seven years, helping prompt the closure of her 15-year business.

"I knew it would be difficult to replace her," Lukas said.

Dana Soare of Panda Child Development Centres blames the lack of qualified personnel on poor wages.

But the province is doing its part to keep up daycare, said Alberta Children's Services spokeswoman Jody Korchinski.

"Daycares are no different than any other industry in trying to attract and retain staff," said Korchinski, whose ministry addressed the problem last year by providing an hourly wage bonus of up to $2.96 for day-care workers.

- reprinted from the Calgary Sun