Parents want Sudbury to keep Junior Citizens daycare
Council looking for ways to cover a $1 million cut in provincial funding
Parents and childcare workers packed a meeting room at Sudbury city hall Monday night to hear councillors discuss the future of the city-run daycare.
But they'll have to wait until next year for a decision on the future of both the centre and the city's childcare system.
City councillors are looking for ways to cover a $1 million cut in provincial funding.
Anna Barsanti, a parent who was allowed to speak to the committee, said keeping the daycare open should be seen as an investment.
"The numbers make sense, but sometimes sense has to be human," she said.
"And we might have to pay a little more up front, but I promise you, we will have more of those children sitting around this table like each of you."
City shouldn’t be in daycare business: councillor
Parents whose children go to Junior Citizens Daycare marched around Sudbury city hall before the meeting.
Jean Ngouabe and his three children, all under the age of five, carried signs.
He said he will have to quit his job as a nurse if the daycare is closed.
"[A] babysitter would make the same wages I am making, so I might as well stay home and take care of them," he said.
Closing Junior Citizens has been considered by council before, as it would neatly cover the $1 million cut to provincial childcare funding the city is facing.
But most councillors at the meeting, including Joe Cimino, leaned away from that idea.
"I don't want us to underestimate the value of daycares," he said.
City staff also suggested a list of smaller cuts totalling a million dollars.
City councillor Joscelyne Landry-Altmann spoke out against cutting the daycare subsidy for 10 to 12 year-olds, but was one of the few at the meeting who said the city should eventually close Junior Citizens.
"Being in the daycare business … I've said it before and I'll say it again ... I don't think this is something we should be into," Landry-Altmann said.
Sudbury city staff will now look at child care in Greater Sudbury and report back to city council sometime next spring.