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Childcare providers plan rally [CA-YK]

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Waddell, Stephanie
Publication Date: 
20 Jul 2006

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As working parents get ready to pay more for childcare at most daycare centres in the city, daycare owners and operators are hoping to raise awareness about the issue with a campaign that will include a rally.

The event was originally planned for 11 a.m. July 26 outside the legislature.

Downtown Days daycare owner Lynda Peters said those plans could change but there will likely be a rally sometime before the end of July. The purpose is to let the government know about the childcare needs in the city.

With a territorial election that must occur, at the latest, in November, Peters said, politicians need to know the importance of the issue.

Earlier this year, most day-care centre officials told parents fees would rise as they try to keep up with growing expenses. In some cases, fees are going up $50 a month and in others they're increasing by a percentage, such as the 30 per cent at one day care.

For most daycare centres, it's been 10 or 12 years since fees have gone up and in the past few years, costs for many items have climbed.

While daycare centres have been able to keep up with the standards they need to, smaller items like an annual paint job inside the building end up getting cancelled, said Peters.

Like any business, staff at daycares would also like to see an increase to their pay to help deal with the increases in the cost of living. While most daycare owners might not be able to provide extended medical coverage, they would like to provide their staff with a raise.

If daycare costs continue to rise with parents expected to foot the entire bill though, Peters suggested there could be more affordable, unlicensed facilities cropping up around the territory where people babysit in their own homes.

That would mean there would be no regulations to follow in those places and no one for parents to report to. Such sites are also not inspected, she said.

That's a step backward in both quality and accountability in providing childcare , she said.

Peters said she has not yet heard, and doesn't expect, that parents will pull their kids out of daycare to stay at home with the cost boost.

- Reprinted from the Whitehorse Daily Star

Entered Date: 
21 Jul 2006
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