Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-02-08 at 11:39AM

Next step

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

Daycare is costing the city thousands of dollars a day and is expected to cost more this year.

A report heading to city council Monday night estimates that the city will lose around $3,250 everyday this year through its four child care centres. That's up from $2,750 last year.

The city operates around 15 per cent, or 382, of the 2,470 licensed spaces in Thunder Bay. The repot states that scheduling has put many families in need of care on waitlists in the city though. Irregular hours or days make it hard for those families to find spaces despite the amount that are out there.

Another report on child care recommends the city cut its Grace Remus Evening Program, a pilot launched in 2009 that ran the centre from 6:45 p.m. until 2 a.m. The program was looking to meet the needs of parents who work irregular hours, but its lack of use is expected to cost the city more than $91,000 this year.

Some councillors, like Coun. Ken Boshcoff and Coun. Rebecca Johnson have said the city should get out of the daycare business altogether. Coun. Iain Angus has disagreed. Mayor Keith Hobbs he's not in favour of getting out of the business at this time.

Also Monday, council is being asked to execute funding agreements on the proposed events centre. The city applied for matched $577,139 from FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation for Phase 3 of the plan.

"Although a formal announcement has not been made public, administration is confident that the funding applications will be successful," the corporate report states.

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