Child care crunch doesn’t end when school begins
Nadine Blum and Christine Davies speak out on the child care crunch for kindergarten-aged children
The Toronto Star reports on the difficulty that many Toronto parents have finding before and after school child care for kindergarten students. Most schools do not have sufficient placements to accommodate parents who work.
Nadine Blum and Christine Davies, both parents of young children, spoke to the Star:
Mother Nadine Blum of Toronto East Enders for Child Care queried members of parent Facebook groups in the area last month and found that a majority of 21 local schools mentioned by parents were not able to meet demand.
“Every school seems to be different,” says Blum, who struggled to secure a kindergarten spot for her son. “In some cases, it’s first come, first served. Others use a lottery system … and in some schools parents are being told there is insufficient demand. It’s very confusing and causing a lot of stress.”
Christine and Meaghan Davies considered taking their toddler out of a licensed child care centre near their work and hiring a nanny so their 4-year-old daughter Fiona would have someone to care for her before and after school when she starts kindergarten in September. Late last week, the couple made arrangements with a neighbour to pick up Fiona. But they consider themselves lucky.
“It’s not like a few families are being left to find alternate arrangements. It’s dozens of families,” says Christine Davies.
Davies is particularly upset the province isn’t allowing the local businesses that have sprung up to provide after-school programs for students in Grades 1 to 6 to also pick up children in kindergarten. Under provincial regulations, only licensed child care programs can serve more than five kids of this age during the school year.