Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-01-14 at MIDNIGHT

City-run daycare costs continue to rise, council to consider options

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

Daycare is going to cost the city more than $774,000 next year.

That number is 63 per cent over what it was in 2013. In 2015, the city will need to add another 25 per cent to that number if it wants to continue the same service levels at its four centres.

Full-day kindergarten has hit enrollment in city daycares hard. So too has the increase in licensing to private facilities, which now operate more than 2,100 of the 2,500 spaces available. That's also left the city with less funding through the local social services administration board.

"Which means we're actually competing against people who are trying to do it who are licensed," Coun. Ken Boshcoff said.

The first report was presented to city council on Monday night. Boshcoff said he didn't think it was as bad as the reality is.

"I don't think anybody was ready for the numbers tonight," he said.

City-run daycares were set up to fill a need in the past when spaces weren't available. That clearly is no longer the case.

"It's going to get even more expensive in the years to come," Boshcoff said."

"The math is clear."

Boshcoff said council needs to take some time over the next few months to consider some options.

City administration recommended that the city end an evening care pilot program at grace Remus Child Centre that extends the hours until 2 a.m. Around 15 children use the program. Canceling it would save $50,000 in 2014 and $92,000 every year after that. City council referred the recommendation for more time to consider it.

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