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2014-01-14 at MIDNIGHT

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

By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
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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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Comments

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unknowncronik says:
"The math is clear."

curious where this thinking was when the "2 bent poles" @ the marina were being voted on...
1/14/2014 12:33:23 AM
Back-in-the-bay says:
This comment has got to be the one that removes all doubt of the person using its lack of any intelligence. The art projects at marina had nothing to do with municipal money. Get over it already.
1/14/2014 6:39:43 AM
progress now says:
Are you saying this was private sector funded?
1/14/2014 7:07:06 PM
Back-in-the-bay says:
Normal, non-nuckle dragging humans know exactly what I meant. If you agree that the art at the waterfront and this daycare story have any connection other than in fantasy, there is not enough cave space to produce a drawing that could explain how wrong you are!
1/15/2014 7:11:35 AM
progress now says:
You didn't answer my question...
1/15/2014 10:37:36 PM
Back-in-the-bay says:
I really do think I did answer your intentionally vexing question. More so below, but I'll paraphrase. Municipal taxes did not fund the art projects. This does not, nor has it ever equated to private sector funding being the then, only other source. However, for sake of argument, many private sector businesses and individuals do absolutely support art installations of this and many other types. The original commenters attempted point was to draw some connection to what council is decided on the story at hand, to the misconception that council squandered thunder May money on art at the waterfront. At this point, please refer to my original reply to you. I'm not expecting you to agree with me, but if you're going to debate something without any facts, could you at least take 10 seconds to formulate more of an argument. Your original question seemed moe rhetorical, so if you have the answer, provide it.
1/16/2014 8:24:21 AM
unknowncronik says:


All I asked was where was the thinking when they dumped almost a million bucks on the 2 bent poles. The peeps making the decisions are the same @ city hall.

wow you guys don't get it & like to knock people...the issue was the COST regarding them 2 bent poles at the marina, nothing more.

Go back to yer job...your fry machine is beeping.
1/15/2014 4:49:22 AM
back-in-the-bay says:
I'm knocking the notion that any art project at the marina has a connection to this issue whatsoever. I do actually get your point and disagree with it completely. The city applied for and received provincial and federal art grants that were incorporated into the net budget of the waterfront. Those funds had NOTHING to do with municipal money and could not be used for any other purpose. Even with that well known fact, comments on here love to reference these artworks as fiscal blunders of the city. This could literally not be further from the facts. I'm not 'knocking' you but if you think about your comment, you are in fact wrongfully 'knocking' the the city on this point. Whenever I've pointed this out I usually get the 'but it's all taxpayer money though', which is then a whole other debate isn't it? The need for municipal funded daycare is no longer needed: that's the point.

FYI, I put the ketchup on the buns, they won't let me use the fryer yet. But a guy can dream...
1/15/2014 11:27:34 AM
sky high says:
The truth is clear. Thunder Bay is so full of hillbillies that it's a big sin if a few pieces of art go up. Perhaps they should have put something up that you could have appreciated, like dual pictures of some tin cans and rotten two-by-fours. I'll bet you forty percent of you would love this art
1/14/2014 7:35:53 AM
S Duncan says:
Theres nothing wrong with art, but it shouldn't be bought with tax dollars.

Art is subjective. To each person it means something different.

Art paid for with tax dollars just makes me angry because of the thievery that took place in order for some unelected person to decide the difference between art and scrap iron and shove it down our throats.

Heres an idea skyhigh. If you like public art so much why don't you go buy some and donate it to all the hillbillies to appreciate?

or as usual are you just a fan of art if someone else is paying for it?
1/14/2014 5:29:39 PM
whatelseisnew says:
I could not agree with you more. This is a classic example of what council does with money received from the tax payer, they waste it on junk and not services. I honestly think it is time for a full audit at town hall because how can we always be broke yet come up with money for assessment after assessment on projects that won't/should not ever happen. I hate to see it but I think the Provence really needs to step in and investigate and clean house on our city council because things just seem to be getting worse when it comes to funds disappearing.
1/14/2014 12:47:12 PM
nvjgu says:
Really, consider there options. They gave more than that to regmed. Have they started to pay that money back yet. Where is regmed now anyway.
1/14/2014 2:13:48 AM
jonthunder says:
Unless it is mandatory that the city provide these day care services; and if it is losing money on such while others in the business are making a profit - the city should get out of the business and save the taxpayers some money.
1/14/2014 6:36:38 AM
tsb says:
The city provided golf courses in the past because no one in the private sector would. Now, there are private golf courses. The need for city run golf courses has passed.

I feel that we are seeing something similar with daycare. Perhaps a better alternative, instead of offering daycare services in a few city-owned buildings, would be a programme to assist lower income families with the cost of putting their children into daycare. Children would receive the care they need, parents would be freed up for a few hours a day to work, and the city wouldn't have to maintain buildings and pay a lot of staff.
1/14/2014 9:05:03 PM
bttnk says:
@ tsb - a program for helping lower income families with the cost of putting their children into daycare already exists through the local social services administration board.
1/15/2014 3:27:17 PM
hotchoc says:
Why is the city competing with private interests.

We got out of golfing, so why not out of daycare.

A very simplistic suggestion for a very complex problem. One that cannot be solved with simplicity.

By the way, if the money for the bent hockey sticks at the Marina did not come from the city, where did it come from???
1/14/2014 9:37:23 PM
bttnk says:
@ hotchoc - "the city got out of the golf course business"? When? I was under the impression that 2 city run golf courses still oeprated at an annual loss. When did Strathcona and Chapples shut down?

The art at the marina was funded through art grants from provincial and federal governments. In other words, this was not funded through municipal taxes.
1/15/2014 3:31:30 PM
Dudebro says:
It's sad that if the daycares are not running completely full, then their considered not worthy to keep operating. City run services like daycare are exactly that - services. They don't have to constantly turn a profit.
There's usually waiting lists at daycares, and now they're running a few kids less than bursting at the seams and suddenly OMG, shut them down...they're losing money!
C'mon, there's better things to start picking apart besides a couple daycares. They create jobs and provide a much needed service.
Run them into the ground and shut them down and suddenly there will a shortage of spots again.
Likely they're low on numbers because people simply can't afford those rates and have found alternatives. Once a good alternative is found, they're probably not coming back.
1/14/2014 10:49:38 PM
Tannoy says:
How are their numbers down when its a 6 month waiting list to get a spot in one of these city daycares?
1/15/2014 11:28:41 AM
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