Labour shortage forces YMCA to cut back on child care
The CalgaryYMCA is planning to shut down some child-care programs, prompting at least one parent to fear she may have to quit her job to care for her son.
Staff shortages are affecting the program, which provides before and after school care to 550 children at 18 different schools in the city,with the goal of helpingworking parents who need child care outside of school hours.
YMCA Calgary president Wayne Perkins said Wednesday the program, which has a waiting list and is provincially licensed, hasbeen desperately short staffed for a year and scrambling to fill 10 vacant positions out of a full staff of 50.
"We've had staff from all across the association in all our branches, from lifeguards through to vice-presidents …," he said.
"And it's just a complex web everyday; they're trying to fill the spots necessary."
Perkins said the YMCA is concerned that the shortage could not only hurt quality of care, but the program, and it will no longer be able to meet adult-to-child ratio requirements.
Parent may have to quit job
A decision will be made early next week on which programs will be closed and how many children will be affected, says the YMCA.
A letter about the potential closures was sent to parents on Wednesday.
Laurie Hoff's eight-year-old son attends the program at Riverbend Elementary.
Hoff said if her school program is closed, she may have to cut back her hours of work, or even quit.
"There's sort of that foreboding. Is it going to be us? And if it's not, I still have the same feelings that those families that are affected are going to be quite devastated."