Niagara College has made the difficult decision to cease operating the NC Child Care Centre on its Welland Campus, effective April 30, 2013.
Unfortunately, over the past several years, the increasing costs of operation of the Child Care Centre have been a growing concern for the College. The implementation of provincial full-day kindergarten has put further financial pressures on all licensed child care providers, including Niagara College. Continuing operation of the Child Care Centre beyond 2013 would mean diverting critical resources away from academic programming – our core mandate.
Niagara College has informed staff as well as families/clients of the centre in an effort to assist with the transition. The College will also assist the full-time Child Care Centre staff in transitioning to other opportunities following the closure on April 30, 2013. Further details on transition options will be provided to staff shortly.
“Our Child Care Centre staff have provided exceptional care for children over the years,” said president Dan Patterson. “We’re very grateful for their service, and I thank them in advance for their continued care over the next several months.”
“It was a difficult decision but, by announcing this now, we are doing everything we can to mitigate the impacts on children, families and our staff, and are hopefully providing reasonable notice for caregivers to make arrangements for childcare,” said Teresa Quinlin, Niagara College’s vice-president of Corporate Services. “We are also making every effort to ensure the existing facility keeps operating as an independently-run child care centre after April 2013.”
The College is working with the Niagara Region to develop a process to find organizations or individuals interested in operating a child care centre at its current location after April 30, 2013.
The NC Child Care Centre has been in operation since 1969 and has been operating in its current facility at the Welland Campus since 1995.
Niagara College’s decision to cease operating the Child Care Centre does not affect the Early Childhood Education program offered at NC. The NC Child Care Centre was one of many daycares and child care facilities utilized throughout Niagara for ECE student placements.
The NC Child Care centre will continue to operate as usual until April 30, 2013.
Q & A – Child Care Centre (CCC)
Q. Why is NC ceasing operations of the NC Child Care Centre effective April 30, 2013?
A. Niagara College’s continued operation of the Child Care Centre is no longer financially viable. Over the past several years, the increasing costs of operation of the Centre have been a growing concern for the College, with the Centre operating at a significant deficit. With the implementation of Provincial Full-Day Kindergarten, the transition of four and five year olds from child care to the school system is putting further financial pressure on all licensed child care providers, including Niagara College.
In addition, the ongoing economic challenges within the Niagara region have created a high demand for child care subsidies which exceeds the amount of available funding from the Niagara Region. In January 2012, a waitlist for child care subsidies was implemented by Niagara Region Children’s Services. Priority for subsidy is given to parents who are employed, with students requiring subsidy being waitlisted until funding becomes available. Students in need of child care for September are currently being placed. For students already receiving subsidy, funding was sustained and will continue in September for the 2012-13 school year based on current eligibility requirements.
The ongoing cost challenges combined with the transition to Full Day Kindergarten and a waitlist for child care subsidies have led to the difficult decision for Niagara College to cease operating the NC Child Care Centre as of April 30, 2013.
Continued operations of the Centre beyond April 30, 2013 would mean diverting critical resources away from academic programming, NC’s core mandate. In recent years, several colleges in Ontario have closed on-campus child care facilities, reflecting the increasing cost pressures facing Colleges and the need to prioritize available resources for academic programming.
Q. How many staff are impacted?
A. There are 11 full-time and seven part-time employees of the NC Child Care Centre.
Q. What is NC doing to minimize the impact that the closure will have on the CCC staff?
A. NC has begun deliberations with the College Employment Stability Committee (CESC) and they are looking at a number of strategies to minimize the impact for full-time staff. NC will also be providing resume preparation and interview preparedness workshops for all employees of the daycare.
Q. The NC Child Care Centre was directly involved with the academic programs. How will the programs be impacted by this decision?
A. Niagara College’s decision to cease operating the Child Care Centre does not affect the Early Childhood Education program offered at NC. The NC Child Care Centre was one of many daycares and child care facilities utilized throughout Niagara for ECE student placements.
Q. How many student families are impacted?
A. During the 2011/12 Academic year, approximately 50 students utilized the NC Child Care Centre for the care of their children.
Q. Will Niagara College’s decision to cease operations of the CCC at the end of April 2013 have a potential impact on our Child Care Centre enrollment for September 2012?
A. The majority of our students will see their subsidy end at the end of the upcoming academic year, April 30, 2013. The Niagara Region will work with the College to develop a process to identify an independent new provider to potentially be in place on May 1, 2013 in order to minimize any disruption in service.
Q. What will happen to the school age children in May & June, 2013?
A. By announcing now that Niagara College will no longer be operating the CCC on April 30, 2013, NC is providing reasonable notice for parents to make arrangements for childcare after the transition date. As well, the Niagara Region is committed to minimizing the impact and providing uninterrupted service for those requiring childcare.
Q. What are the College and the Region doing to assist in the transition for parents?
A. Niagara Region Children’s Services and Niagara College have a long history of working collaboratively to provide access to high quality child care and early learning opportunities. Niagara Region Children’s Services remains committed to working with Niagara College to develop and implement an effective transition for families and children. The Niagara Region will work with the College to develop a process to identify an independent new provider to potentially be in place on May 1, 2013 in order to minimize any disruption in service for Niagara College families in need of child care. A commitment to maintain the high quality child care service for which Niagara College is known for is a priority for Children’s Services.