SUDBURY, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2013) - Supporters of quality child care will begin a community campaign to keep Junior Citizens Daycare/Centre des jeunes citoyens (JCDC) - Greater Sudbury's only Francophone centre that provides late evening care for parents working nightshift - with a rally today (Monday, January 21, 2013) at 5:30 p.m. at Tom Davies Square.
For over 40 years, generations of children and their parents have benefited from the quality, high level care provided at Junior Citizens Daycare, Sudbury's only directly-operated, public child care centre. But, say the members of the Sudbury Child Care Coalition, with little discussion with the Greater Sudbury community or the families that rely on the service, tonight the Greater Sudbury's Community Service Committee will be voting on two motions - both of them to close Junior Citizens. "And that's not a choice that supports Sudbury families," they say.
In 2000, the city created its innovative evening program at Junior Citizens, which is open until 12:15 a.m., as a response to a growing number of parents working evenings and doing shift work in Sudbury's call centre and retail sectors. A city report from 2009 says that, "recognizing the changing demands in the community and the increase in community-based childcare options for Francophone parents, Centre des jeunes citoyens/Junior Citizens Daycare changed its operations, increasing its evening program and combining the two day-time programs into a bilingual program that could serve English and Francophone children."
In 2011, councillors re-affirmed their commitment to the unique nature of Junior Citizens by voting to revise the centre's admission policies, "prioritizing families who cannot be served by the community-based licensed child care system: i.e. single parents working shift, evening or varying schedules, students with evening classes, low income families with significant transportation challenges or other special needs."
We believe, say the coalition members, "that the mayor and councillors have a responsibility to meet the needs of families in our community. Indeed that's what we elected them to do, deliver public services, including child care. In our mind, those councillors saying that the city should not provide child care, do not support Francophone families, parents doing shiftwork and families with children with special needs and that is shameful."
Should the Community Services Committee vote to close the centre, and a final vote goes to council recommending closure, the coalition will begin an aggressive community-based campaign to keep Junior Citizens/Centre des jeunes citoyens (JCDC) open.