No funding? No problem: Arviat daycare staff head to work despite financial straits

Qitiqliq Shared Care Daycare was set to be closed starting Monday because of delayed funding. Instead, staff held a meeting and agreed to come to work even though they're not sure when they'll be paid.

Threatened with closure due to funding delays, 27 staffers made the decision to go to work anyway

Qitiqliq Shared Care Daycare was set to be closed starting Monday because of delayed funding. Instead, staff held a meeting and agreed to come to work even though they're not sure when they'll be paid. (submitted by Chris Mikeeuneak)

Generous staff at an Arviat daycare have made lives easier for the parents of 130 kids.

Qitiqliq Shared Care Daycare was set to be closed starting Monday morning because of delayed funding.

Chris Mikeeuneak, program coordinator, said that they sent out a letter on Friday.

Chris Mikeeuneak, program coordinator for Qitiqliq Shared Care Daycare. (submitted by Chris Mikeeuneak)
A copy posted on Facebook reads: "This letter is to inform you that effective Monday, November 28, 2016, the early childhood programs will be closed due to financial situations. All daycares, Aboriginal Head Start 1&2, Healthy Moms and Healthy Babies, will all be closed until further notice. We are very sorry for the inconvenience this will result in, but we will let you know once our doors are open again."

However, the 27 staff members weren't willing to let that happen.

"When we [had] a quick staff meeting they just wanted to work until we get funding," Mikeeuneak said in an interview Monday morning.

"Until we get paid, they are going to work until they get paid. They almost made me cry."

Funding usually comes in at this time of year, but a change at the Nunavut government's early childhood education office last spring moved the contact point for the daycare from Rankin Inlet to the Iqaluit office, Mikeeuneak said, which caused the funding delay.

Community members have been highly supportive of the staff's decision.

A post to Facebook called the staff members, "selfless, caring, loving angels."

Mikeeuneak said he received a call from one of the funders late Monday morning saying some of the funds would be coming soon.

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