Re: “Province wants more daycares in schools,” Feb. 24.
On the surface, the idea of moving early-care and learning programs for children under five and before- and after-school care into schools looks like a win-win situation. It provides more spaces for families requiring child care.
There are concerns. One is the physical space — often the structural components, such as bathrooms and outdoor climbers, are not appropriate for children under five.
Second, I applaud the Greater Victoria School District for specifically supporting not-for-profit groups, renting space in their schools.
In many school districts, that is not the case. Space is rented to businesses. These programs are profit-driven, ensuring low wages and high staff turnover, not optimal for maintaining continuity of care.
Parents can mistakenly believe that school-based care run by a business is endorsed by the school and is quality care. All licensed spaces are regulated by the Community Care Facilities Act — this regulates health and safety, not the quality of programming.
I urge Education Minister Don McRae to embed into the amendment that programs offered in schools be run by non-profit organizations. Non-profit organizations are responsible to a board of directors, which often include parents, educators and concerned citizens. They are accountable under the Societies Act. Businesses are only accountable to themselves.
© Copyright 2013