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Don't rush decision

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Publication Date: 
25 Jan 2012



Peel Regional Councillors will be in the hotseat tomorrow as a report is put to them recommending closure of all 12 region-run daycare centres.

The report calls for closures to take effect as of September. If local politicians agree, it will be done- five day care centres in Brampton and seven in Mississauga would shut their doors, and space would have to be found elsewhere. The move would eliminate some 800 child care spaces in the two cities, and close to 300 jobs.

Upon their arrival at work tomorrow, councillors will be greeted by a group of local parents and advocates urging them to postpone this decision and allow time for all involved to reflect on the information in the report and determine the best course of action.

We wholeheartedly agree with those who feel a vote tomorrow would be unwise. Parents have been left to worry about who will care for their children come September, with no concrete answers being offered. Communication needs to take place before politicians rush to a decision based on a report only made public on Friday afternoon.

The parents affected, and indeed their children, are individuals with individual circumstances and needs, and they need to know the region recognizes this and has a plan in place that will not leave them high and dry.

It's unfortunate that an information meeting held Friday in Mississauga that might have helped allay some concerns and fill in some of the blanks for parents actually barred the media from attending. The reason given, apparently, was that the region didn't want to panic parents or bring them any extra anxiety. What a telling statement. The region's approach to calming parents who are already clearly agitated and anxious is to prevent them from finding out more information through media reports?

Certainly, some of those parents who attended the meeting said afterward that their concerns had not been addressed and one parent concluded the region has "no plan" for how it would implement such closures. We wouldn't know because we weren't invited.

There is clearly an argument to be made for closing some or perhaps all of the daycare centres and reallocating the funds to pay for subsidized care in privately run centres, but we are not yet convinced it is the right thing to do. More thought is needed, and councillors must recognize that need, and take time to consider this very important decision.

-reprinted from the Brampton Guardian

Entered Date: 
25 Jan 2012
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