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Daycare meets the family farm

The Story


With soaring costs and dropping prices, farmers across Canada are increasingly turning to outside work to pay the bills. But with no one on the farm, who will look after the kids? In southern Ontario this economic reality has forced one farming community to set up its own unique brand of Daycare which addresses the reality of seasonal work and the great distances between homes. This Country Canada clip looks at what happens when the reality of modern Daycare comes face to face with traditional family values. 

Medium: Television
Program: Country Canada
Broadcast Date: Sept. 24, 1989
Guest(s): Murray Betts, Brenda Calder, Brenda Johnson, Laurie McKenzie
Reporter: Usten Reinhart
Duration: 8:05

Did You know?


• This clip looks at the Holstein Day-care centre, which was established in rural Grey County Ontario, just north of Toronto, in 1988. Unlike most Daycares at the time, the centre boasted flexible hours and rates and was seasonal to accommodate the annual harvest schedule.
• The family farm is one of the last segments of Canadian society to deal with the issue of subsidized Daycare, and opponents of the idea were not shy about voicing their opinion.

• While rural Canada was late to the Daycare bandwagon, its participation has grown quickly over recent years.
• In 1994 Statistics Canada reported that just over 36 per cent of children in rural areas were in some form of Daycare. In 2001 the number had jumped to 50 per cent.

• Ontario's Task Force on Rural Child Care & Early Childhood Education in 2000 recommended changes to the province's Day Nursery Act to help rural families. According to its report, the legislation was "developed to address an urban need and does not reflect the realities of service delivery in rural areas, with the result that flexible child care programs are difficult to establish and maintain."

• The report also said that the small, spread-out populations in farming communities made it more expensive to set up and operate Daycare centers.
• To read more about this report go to the website for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.


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