Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC)

Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care (OCBCC)

July 16, 2008 16:15 ET

OCBCC: Child Care Supporters Protest Planned St. Lawrence College Child Care Centre Closure

KINGSTON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 16, 2008) - Child care advocates held a "Caravan for Child Care" to protest the closure of the St. Lawrence College child care centre.

The St. Lawrence Early Childhood Centre is the largest of three community college programs to close this year. Child care is funded through the Ministry of Children and Youth Services. Community Colleges are funded through the Ministry of Colleges, Training and Universities. Neither Ministry has tried to find a solution to keep the child care programs operating.

"St. Lawrence has played an important role in child care in Kingston. Not only is a child care centre serving the needs of families, but many students studying Early Childhood Education at the College do a field placement at the centre. The loss of the Early Childhood Centre will be felt throughout the community" said Pam Kent, Executive Director of the Lennox and Addington Resource for Children and an executive member of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care.

Only 12% of Ontario children have access to a licensed child care space. At $40 a day, the cost of child care for one child exceeds $10,000 per year. Despite the need throughout the Province, the McGuinty government failed to meet a commitment to investing $300 million dollars in their first term - instead allocating an increase of $50 million dollars over the past two years.

"The Canadian Labour Congress worked with child care partners to produce report cards for each province on child care. Ontario got a "D" because child care is both expensive and it's hard for parents to find a licensed child care program. If community colleges close programs it will only make the problem worse", commented Marie Clarke Walker, Executive Vice President of the Canadian Labour Congress.

The Early Childhood Centre at St. Lawrence College will close on July 31. The Centre was licensed for 36 children and provided high quality care. The Centre reserved 80% of their spaces for students (no matter where they went to school) and accommodated part-time child care. The Centre was officially a "lab" school, part of a network of instructional sites for students studying Early Childhood Education.

Contact Information

  • Lennox & Addington Resources for Children
    Pam Kent
    Executive Director and OCBCC Executive Member
    (613) 354-6318 x 22
    Canadian Labour Congress
    Marie Clarke Walker
    Executive Vice-President
    (613) 521-3400 x 403
    Andrea Calver
    Communications Director
    Cell: (416) 434-8031