Daycare service cuts trouble Thunder Bay dad on wait list

A Thunder Bay man told city council cutting daycare spaces in the city would be a mistake.
Grace Remus Child Care Centre is one of four daycares operated by the city. (Jeff Walters/CBC)

A Thunder Bay man told city council cutting daycare spaces in the city would be a mistake.

Justin Frape wants the city to hold off on any cuts to the city's four daycare operations — which it deems a money-losing service — until the province makes changes to regulations.

"Let's at least see what the changes to the Day Nurseries Act will entail, and let's understand what the effect on the market will be before we seek to remove another several hundred spaces out of circulation,” Frape said.

Frape said his child has been on the waiting list at the Grace Remus Daycare for more than two years.

But city staff say that long wait list doesn't necessarily indicate a shortage.

Thunder Bay’s manager of recreation and culture said it's hard filling the individual requests of every parent, such as daycare only on certain days.

"It's very difficult when there are very specific needs to fit them into all of the varying components and licensing capacities and such,” Beverly Ball said.

The bottom line is the daycares are losing money, she noted, and council needs to find ways to help balance the books.

"How do you make a change in the program delivery system? And … we're asking [council] for some direction around looking at those various options,” Ball added.

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