Peel Region has wrapped up negotiations with a private daycare provider to take over management of Lancaster child-care centre in Malton starting Jan. 13.
The deal is the first of many currently in the works as the municipality moves to get out of direct delivery of daycare.
"I hear they're a great organization," said Brampton Councillor Paul Palleschi, responding to the announcement that PLASP Child Care Services will take over operations at Lancaster in early 2014.
Children's services director Sonia Pace confirmed the deal during Peel's child-care task force meeting today (Thursday Oct. 31).
In addition to PLASP Child Care Services, Peel is currently negotiating with Family Day and YMCA to assume control of municipal daycare facilities by next fall.
Negotiations with the non-profit sector began in earnest following a Peel Council decision last year to get out of the direct delivery of daycare.
That vote came as a result of a comprehensive analysis concluding Peel could serve a lot more children by reallocating responsibilities and fiscal resources.
The Region's transition from service provider to system manager took another step forward this week with the Lancaster facility deal.
"This is welcome news for families in the Malton community," Pace told task force members. "The Malton community will maintain much-needed child-care spaces."
Of the 12 municipal daycare centres, Peel is negotiating to transfer control of 11 facilities in Brampton and Mississauga.
The Chinguacousy Learn Play Care Centre in Brampton, which offers evening care, will close for good.
Staff explained evening care services would be transferred down the road to Collegeside Learn.Play.Care. Child Care Centre, located at the Sheridan College Davis Campus in Brampton.
Collectively, non-profit daycare providers will operate 702 child-care spaces in Peel.
Many of the facilities are also slated to be retrofitted to service children aged 0 to 3.8 and children with special needs.
Pace told task force members Thursday that Peel is close to wrapping up negotiations with the various providers.
Details on the status of negotiations were addressed in camera following Pace's presentation.
The Region is looking at relinquishing control of centres by September 2014, which coincides with the full implementation of full-day kindergarten.
According to the study presented to Council last year, it costs $82 million to provide early learning and child-care in Peel, most of that ($52 million) going to fee subsidy.
The daily cost to provide care at municipal facilities is $83 per child compared to an average of $40 at other licensed child-care programs in Peel.
Reallocating resources frees up funds used toward fee subsidies for more spaces and increased support for youngsters with special needs, the report concluded.
-reprinted from Mississauga News