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Waterloo day care shutting [CA-ON]

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Etherington, Frank & Davis, Brent
Publication Date: 
31 May 2006

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For more than 15 years, a child-care centre run by Conestoga College at its Waterloo campus has offered a nurturing learning environment to youngsters and peace of mind to their parents.

It's no surprise, then, that news of its pending closure was met with shock, anger and tears yesterday.

"I was quite sick about it," Cindy Lafontaine said as she arrived to pick up her son, Justin. "That's all I could think about when I got to work."

The child-care operation has been at the campus at 435 King St. N. since 1990.

Parents and staff learned about the Dec. 1 closure yesterday, when they arrived at the centre with their children. Ten full-time and additional part- time staff care for 65 kids at the centre.

Parents were told the college has sold the campus property and will move to University Heights, but without the day-care centre.

Speaking for the Child Care Action Network of Waterloo Region, Catherine Fife and Rick Moffitt said yesterday that the closure is a direct negative result of the federal government's day-care policy. The Conservatives' plan direct payments to families, along with tax breaks and grants for potential day-care operators. The taxable annual payments, which start in July, will give parents $1,200 a year for each child under six. The former Liberal government planned to spend $5 billion on universal day care.

College officials said federal policy has nothing to do with the closure.

"The bottom line is our property has been sold," said Shelley Schenk, manager of the college's child-care centres.

This wasn't much consolation to Jenn Young, who had hoped to keep her son Jaden at the Waterloo centre for another year. "How is $100 a month going to help me when I don't have a spot for my child?

- reprinted from the Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo Record

Entered Date: 
2 Jun 2006
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