Parents concerned about changes to daycare
CTV Southwestern Ontario
Published Wednesday, November 16, 2011 6:06PM EST
The possible impact of changes planned for daycare programs at Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) facilities has many parents worried.
Natalie Waddell is a busy working mom with a five-year-old son, and she isn't happy with what could change.
"We took steps to make a plan that works for us and the board is just taking that away."
Waddell is among the parents who feel removing third party day care providers like the local YWCA could make the service more expensive, force them to find other summer arrangements and leave them without options when their children turn eight.
She has started an online petition to have the board reconsider the move.
"When I built the website I started handing out flyers at my daycare centre, and as I was handing them out people were saying ‘What is this, I don't understand, why are they doing this?'"
Kim Decker of the YWCA in Cambridge says "We've heard concerns from parents around the lack of choice, the cost and the lack of summer care, which are three things that they've focused on with us fairly significantly."
The move could also mean a significant loss of revenue for the YWCA.
The province is pushing to have school boards across Ontario offer programs before and after school hours, but only Waterloo Region is going it alone, having decided not to work with existing third-party providers.
Scott Podrebarac of the WRDSB says "There will be a program, there will be a fantastic program, so really everyone wins in terms of service and access to great quality care."
The board says it has been underserviced when it comes to the number of schools that offer these kinds of care programs and parents at schools that lack programs like the plan.
However, Cindy Watson, a WRDSB trustee, is pushing to reopen the process and hold public consultations to help clarify the issue.
Watson wants to bring forward a motion to hold consultations, but will need the signatures of three trustees to do so.