children playing

Lack of spaces the main child care issue

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Letter to the Editor
Siemens, Andrea
Publication Date: 
1 Oct 2015



Re: Report suggests closing all five regional child-care centres — Sept. 14

As a parent living in Waterloo Region, I am deeply concerned about the implications if we close our five public child-care centres.

The facts of the situation do not support consulting firm KPMG's recommendation; these closures would only exacerbate the problems we as parents face.

The issue with child care in Waterloo Region is lack of spaces — the waiting list is 3,805 children long. There is no waiting list for subsidized spaces.

The private sector has not been able to provide enough spaces to accommodate the needs of the region's parents

KMPG has made the same recommendation, to close all public child-care centres in favour of privatization and subsidies, in several regions. In Toronto, the recommendation was rejected, and 50 public child-care centres are currently maintained.

While KMPG's recommendations were put into place in Peel Region, the situation was different there: Peel had a waiting list for parents who needed subsidies. No new spaces were created in Peel as a result of KMPG's recommendation.

In Waterloo Region, opening up funds for 200 more unnecessary subsidies does nothing to address the problem of lack of spaces. In fact, closing these five child-care centres would eliminate 250 spaces and make the problem worse.

It seems KPMG has a cookie-cutter recommendation that does not work for our community. The Region of Waterloo has supported many initiatives in early learning and child care — this would be a departure and a disservice to families in the region.

With 84 per cent of children up to four years of age without access to licensed early learning and child care, we need another solution that works for our community.

Andrea SiemensKitchener

-reprinted from The Record