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City faces child care challenges

Tuesday, March 04, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Tough decisions will have to be made later this year by City Council regarding day care operations.

City staff from various departments will compile reports and recommendations for Council to consider in the wake of cuts to subsidized child care spaces. 

At its regular meeting Monday, Council was told $885,000 in child care funding will be cut as of January 2015 because of cuts from the Ministry of Education.

Because of that, the Sault Ste. Marie District Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB) child care services will be funded differently.

All DSSABs in Northern Ontario are facing cuts.

In the Sault DSSAB’s system, 61 subsidized child-care spaces will be cut.

19 subsidized spaces will be cut at the City’s Jessie Irving and Maycourt child care centres, the other spaces from other day care centres within the Sault DSSAB system.

The cuts come at a time when the need is certainly there, as Council was told Monday there are 1,044 children on the City’s list of children needing subsidized child care spaces.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Joe Fratesi said that as City staff go about preparing their reports for Council’s consideration, Council will not have to make a decision on how to deal with the cuts for the 2014 budget, but will have to do so later in the year.

The Sault DSSAB has used one-time provincial mitigation funding to offset the cuts since January of this year.

The new funding formula will see cuts of 13 percent to 27 percent, beginning April 1 through to January 2015.

Fratesi told Council it will have to decide whether the City should stay in the day care business, deal with the loss in funding as best as it can, or bring in the private sector to take over the operations.

City Commissioner of Social Services Mike Nadeau told Council efforts are being made to lobby the provincial government on the matter.

Staff recommendations are expected to be made to Council in May or June.


Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
mellow 3/4/2014 12:52:22 AM Report

So years ago as a single parent fulltime shift worker could not get subsidized daycare although I qualified as I worked shift work.. Yet year after year unemployed freeloaders sit at home and get subsidized daycare. SO not fair and I and others pay taxes for what.. Wake up and shake up better daycare options in this city. Let parents get help who work and hire flexible providers. Spoke to Tony Martins office years ago on the way I was treated but he was not concerned enough to advocate for parents like me. 20 yrs later I see so many families collecting welfare getting subsidized daycare or having more kids then they could manage .. and we give give give.. Time for some common sense to kick in where needed. Do not ignore single shift working parents.. think outside the box.. for the children and their hard working parents single or not.
bango 3/4/2014 1:00:04 AM Report

^ nailed it
Verbatim 3/4/2014 1:00:58 AM Report

If i didnt know any better i would swear that the Government is purposfully trying to make peoples lives harder and harder. all i have to say is anarchy might not be a bad thing
lizzardskills 3/4/2014 1:06:50 AM Report

Mellow its based on income not what type of work people do. Not many daycares would be willing to work overnight.

As many would say on here go to school get an education and a job where you don't need to be on shift work. If you have a good paying job you can afford to hire someone to watch your child during shift work.

The best thing a parent on "welfare" can do is place their child in daycare. The social and learning aspect is extremely beneficial. It is a great way for people making minimum wage to move up in life with the high cost of daycare covered. Also allows young mothers to attend high school and move onto college to be productive and positive for their children, society and themselves.

Generalizing people on "welfare" and blaming them for all the wrongs in politics is really getting old. The blame game gets you no where.
Entitledtomyopinion 3/4/2014 1:37:07 AM Report

I work at a great job and am a certified I.T. professional. But my wife would make $30 more a week if we had our daughter in daycare than we would having her stay home with my daughter and having my wife work weekends. No subsidy. I am siding with mellow on this one.
Uncle Ray 3/4/2014 6:36:00 AM Report

Quit the belly aching ! You made the child now take care of it!!
mellow 3/4/2014 6:48:06 AM Report

To clarify subsidy was not full and either way did not matter as daycares would not open for ^:30 am or stay open till 7pm for extended family or friends to help. Not everyone works Monday to Friday days. So ya that is more my point.... Chow narrow minded..
greeneyeds 3/4/2014 7:35:16 AM Report

I don't think subsidized daycare is provided to socialize children. If a parent is home it's their job to do that, join a play group, go to the park, you know...things working parents don't have the time to do. I truly believe subsidized spots should be for working parents first, then if there happens to be room open it up more. There are people who have gone to school and still have jobs that make it difficult to make ends meet, those should be the people who subsidized daycare helps.
I am also sorry to the daycare providers who will lose their jobs because of these cuts.
Daiv 3/4/2014 7:54:42 AM Report

Things are different now.

'You made the child, now take care of it. '

That's why people are working!! People can't afford to stay home with this kids now, the government has seen to that. Give ONE parent an incentive to stay at home with their kids.

The government needs both parents working and kids in day care. This way they get income tax from both parents plus the daycare provider.

I am lucky that I found a babysitter who is AWESOME, and she only charges me $20/day. Before I found her, though, I checked out day cares. $40/day - that's $200/week or $800/month. That's more than my mortgage. I don't know how people afford daycare - especially with more than one kid!!

And there is nobody for people who work past a certain time. Even my sitter won't babysit past five.

Soon, having children will also be a luxury only for the rich.

If I had my way, I would be a stay at home mom, but few can do that now.
Javaman 3/4/2014 7:57:53 AM Report

Lets face it.. David O and his LIBERALS HAVE FINALLY run out of money It is also time for parents to stop EXPECTING GOVERNMENT TO RAISE THEIR KIDS.This situation of funding will only get worse.Kids going to school at age 3 or 4 is just not right either...thank Liberals.
Daiv 3/4/2014 7:58:29 AM Report

And to say go to school and get a better job?
Gee. If only it was that easy.
Who pays the bills while this person is paying for school?
People who get let off are actually lucky (like the FutureShop people). They can go back to school on the governments dime AND get EI to pay their bills.
How does anybody else afford to go back to school.

People on here are ignorant of what life is really like for those who don't have money.
Daiv 3/4/2014 8:01:19 AM Report

I agree with you, we shouldn't expect the government to raise our klds, but nobody can afford it now.
I also think kids are going to school too young. Mine just turned four, and he'll be ready by September, but if he had been born two months earlier, he'd already be in school.

rcssm69 3/4/2014 8:45:00 AM Report

You're an idiot!!!
Gurpy 3/4/2014 8:49:55 AM Report

You said "unemployed freeloaders sit at home and get subsidized day care".
First, if they are not working or in school they would not be eligible. Secondly, not everyone at home is a "freeloader" as you put it! I was a single mom who had to quit a full time job to care for one of my children who was DEATHLY ill!! I too worked shift work and paid for my OWN sitter! You have a sense of entitlement and are unjustly judgemental! SHAME ON YOU!
ash234 3/4/2014 9:02:33 AM Report

yeah itsme, you're the only one who pay's taxes and I'm sure you contribute so much.
Even a fulltime decent paying wage would have a hard time being able to afford it at an average of $750/month. That's a 1 1/2 weeks of pay for somebody who makes 20$ an hour. If I had to pay those prices, it would be cheaper for me to sit at home unemployed with my child.
Bigblueford 3/4/2014 9:02:56 AM Report

I just want to know when people are smart enough to know that they can not afford to have a pet or have enough time to spend with them, they don't get one. Why do people not think like that when it comes to having a child? Why do they think it is up to everyone else to help them with their child? If you don't have the time or the money to look after a child then don't have one.
Daiv 3/4/2014 9:05:38 AM Report

There is no real good solution.
Why should you pay for my kid, is right. I've said the same thing, but on the other hand, people can't afford it anymore.
The price of everything has gone so sky high.

I did it backwards, though.
I should've gotten pregnant in high school. Then I would have gotten so much assistance school and daycare. THEN I should've gotten married.
saldog 3/4/2014 9:08:44 AM Report

I don't understand the "go to school and get a better job" comment. I have two university degrees and work a great job but it is still a shift working job. I am not looking for subsidy because I can afford to pay full price (although I think it's very expensive). However, I still needed someone who could let me drop my children off early and pick them up later because of mine and my husbands hours. There is no flexible daycare for flexible work hours. This city is full of shift workers (nurses, plant workers, etc) all educated jobs by the way and we do not accomodate them at all.
scottstewy123 3/4/2014 9:55:48 AM Report

Lot of mismanagement that caused this
Gurpy 3/4/2014 10:10:21 AM Report

I completely agree with you!! I married, THEN got pregnant! I also did things backwards as you put it. I became a single parent due to a divorce, not a foolish choice! Anyone who DELIBERATELY gets pregnant without the financial means to support that child needs HELP!!
Sam C 3/4/2014 10:10:48 AM Report

Well said, saldog. Nurses go to school and most often end up with a shift-work job. Many well-paying jobs are shift work: Steel plant, firefighters, public utility, etc.

Subsidized spaces are limited, and income verification is a criteria. Unfortunately there are those who need day care who earn too much to qualify for subsidized spaces -- of which there are too few to begin with.

This is not a problem with a simple solution.
funontheark 3/4/2014 10:10:58 AM Report

Unfortunately it gets worse. There is a bill that is being debated today for the second time. Bill 143. Informal or unlicensed daycares...those that adhere to the same rules set out by the Ontario Day and Nursery act will have to adhere to the age rules (2 under two, 3 under three) instead of 5 any age plus your own. The infant spots that are so rare to find in Sault Ste. Marie right now will be next to impossible when this bill passes. It is forcing parents to have to go with a daycare facility where they will be integrating the younger children with some of the older children and ratios will larger and care more expensive.
Gurpy 3/4/2014 10:13:35 AM Report

You have Ontario Works to thank for that! Things happen but, when you see the same ones walk in with their "baby belly" year after year it is time to say NO! No more welfare until you stop having babies with three or four or five different guys! Or, even the same guy for that matter! Unbelievable!
Bad Dawg 3/4/2014 10:15:16 AM Report

If you didn't spend so much money on your "lifestyle" you would have money for a babysitter.

Quit complaining and take care of your responsibilities.
Gurpy 3/4/2014 10:33:55 AM Report

Bad Dawg
You tell them!
GenerationXYZ 3/4/2014 10:50:52 AM Report

I agree with Mellow. I had a family member put both her children in a "head-start" program at age 2 while she was at home, not working. The spot was subsidized meaning she paid no money for her children to be in the program. She was a single mom so this gave her a break from her children since the program was only half a day. However, I would have much preferred those spots to go to a working parent who needed the financial break from child care costs.
De Couture 3/4/2014 12:11:04 PM Report

I'm a parent who benefits from subsidy - based on tax returns from the previous year. Before we were excepted into the program, I had to pay $900 a month for one child - ONE child. At that rate, at the wages I was making,it was far more economical to be on welfare than to work to pay for daycare. Imagine what families with more than one child pay per month? A friend of mine has three children, granted the price of three drops slightly per hour; however it's over $1500 a month in daycare spending. Who has that kind of money? Doctors, lawyers, business owners maybe - for the rest of the working class heroes, that's an entire monthly income wasted just so that you can work. Pay to work -makes sense doesn't it????

I'm a working mom but at the time I had to return to work - HAD TO - on minimum wage, I couldn't afford to work - get it people? You are essentially paying to work and this is what cuts to subsidy will do - force one parent to remain at home, which drops their potential earnings and keeps everyone teetering the poverty line. I'm sorry but $900 a month for a single-parent is more than what they can handle if they're only able to pull in say $1500 a month in income, minus rent/mortgage, bills etc. and the government thinks a $100 cheque is sufficient for the "Universal Child Tax Benefit". It's a slap in the face really. If anything, we need more subsidized care spaces in this day in age, and we need to transfer the entire daycare system to the Province as Quebec does so that we have a healthy and happy work force rather than a strained, drained and BROKE work force.
Christina216 3/4/2014 12:30:23 PM Report

i totally agree. my paternity leave just ran out and my husband and i agree that it is better and cheaper that i just stay home and take care of our baby. like above poster said i would be working just to pay for daycare.
BT1979 3/4/2014 12:51:02 PM Report

Hello everyone! I am not going to sit here and pin point whats right and whats wrong with child care challenges. Freedom of speech is absolutly our right and you do not have to agree HOWEVER this is a topic much like religion which will get no where. First of all Subsidy are grants of money, especially governmental for assistance. NOW...what is the underlined problem here. Is it because people have decided their own path in life which does not accomodate or support their lifestyle? No one will ever know what happens behind closed doors or who is lying or who is taking advantage. Who deserves what they believe is subsidy for THEIR CHILDREN not for the well being of their own satisfaction? Really? It's not the kind of job we have, where or when it is. It's a simple solution just like tax brackets, just like osap, just like home owner rennovation expense government grants or whatever you want to compare it to. If you don't make the cut you do not get subsidy. It's not my place to say you get it you don't but it is soley based on your income and if your TRYING to improve your life. What did everyone else do 30 years ago? They managed because they had no other choice. They made due with a piece of bread and a glass of water. We have not suffered to see that what we have is enough. Now spoon feeding is a natural fact. We want more for nothing. If you cant take care of the children you are thinking about creating then don't have them because if you cannot see greatness in showing your kids to work and follow a positive path then what are you showing them? To tie up this whole topic it will never change unless we make the change and try. It's going to get worse before it gets better. Let people who try hard to make a living benefit and those who do nothing try harder. Government look into stricter applications, formulate a guide line. It's simple math.
Gumby54 3/4/2014 1:05:00 PM Report


"As many would say on here go to school get an education and a job where you don't need to be on shift work".

Doctors, Nurses,Other health professionals, Fire fighters and Police are few that come to mind that have to work shift work and they do have some sort of higher education.

And with a single income, it is not always that economical to hire someone to look after your children.
Bad Dawg 3/4/2014 1:09:26 PM Report

If you wanted to be higher than the poverty line then you should not have had kids or get a higher paying job.... kids cost money. I have two, and do not send them to a daycare. You crybabies are the same ones that won't keep a sick child home (just send them to daycare/school to infect everyone else). all because you gotta make payments on your lifestyle and can't miss a shift.

Did you people not plan your life or just expect everyone to give you something for being stupid and irresponsible!!
mellow 3/4/2014 1:37:27 PM Report

Learned helplessness avoid at all costs. Just have daycare hours extended a bit and a fiart system. don't take on more then you could chew.
mellow 3/4/2014 1:38:05 PM Report

fair system
mellow 3/4/2014 1:39:16 PM Report

fair system
mellow 3/4/2014 1:45:00 PM Report

Not entitled just good work ethic and parenting skills. Just advocating so the next generation sees some flexibility for daycare hours. Bigger and other cities do offer it..subsidy or not. Main concern is good care for working parents who need hours before 7am and to at least 6pm..
ash234 3/4/2014 1:54:34 PM Report

Gurpy, what makes you think you're any better than anyone else? What you're saying is you're a single parent but your circumstances were different and better because you got divorced. Maybe you shouldn't have got married if you were just going to get divorced. You don't know why people are single parents, so maybe you shouldn't assume everyone but you was a person making bad choices.
Bad Dawg, your arguments sound stupid.
I don't know what you do but it must be nice to have the option to sit at home all day with your kids. The rest of the population has to work to afford a normal lifestyle and have no other option but to pay the ridiculous price of daycare. It's not stupid and irresponsible, it's quite the opposite.
Gurpy 3/4/2014 2:02:34 PM Report

If woman are deliberately getting pregnant and expecting Ontario Works to foot the bill, they need to change their way of thinking! Things happen! Not all these pregnancies are "accidents". I recently learned that the Health Unit is attempting to cut the number of teen pregnancies in half. Good luck! I think it`s outrages that a high school would need a day care!! So, what exactly is wrong with getting married FIRST and then getting pregnant??
Gurpy 3/4/2014 2:04:11 PM Report

My kids left home almost 20yrs ago. I`m old!
ash234 3/4/2014 2:48:15 PM Report

I didn't say it was wrong to get married first. I said it's wrong to assume that everyone who is a single parent, lives on social assistance or is a result of foolish choices.
foxylady069 3/4/2014 2:52:25 PM Report

I have children, I work, my husband works, we have hired sitters to our home, have family members help out when in a pinch. Had used subsidized daycare a few years back for my children. Truth is if your child is in daycare you pay for the whole week, subsidized or not. So if your child is sick at home and one parent stays home to care for that child you are still paying $35+ for a day you don't get paid for. If you have a month that give you Monday and Friday off but you work the weekend you have to pay someone else to babysit and have to make the choice of keeping your child home while paying for your days off regardless. It wasn't worth $800.00+ dollars a month (yes that was subsidized cost). Our rent at the time was less than that and weekend sitter were another 50.00 or so.
We had to find a solution. We have staggered shifts for the most part but call ins, or the odd overlapping shift we call on someone else, and have a few people on hand. I can say this way has save hundreds of dollars, plus we get our days off to spend with the children.
Daiv 3/4/2014 3:21:36 PM Report

So BadDawg, what you're saying is exactly what I said - only the rich will have the luxury of having children.
I guess it will help with population control.

Like somebody else said (SamC I think), there is no good solution. I shouldn't have to pay for your children and you shouldn't have to pay for mine, but most people cant afford to stay home with their home with their children.

ThinkAgain 3/4/2014 3:41:54 PM Report

It was your decision to have children, the tax payer shouldn't fork over money to help raise it.

I already pay your school taxes
eadiecougs 3/5/2014 12:09:59 AM Report

if the governments didnt blow so much money on gas plants the senate the raises of politicians ,out of hand spending we all can afford child care period.Blame them not each other
Bad Dawg 3/5/2014 2:04:58 AM Report

yeah it is YOUR fault you can't afford to sit at home with your kids... like I can, I call it being responsible. I was working in construction from when I was 17 to 35, I made a lot of money that we didn't spend on luxury things, we've never owned a brand new vehicle, but we have owned several quads, sleds, dirt bikes, trucks, cars, nor did I buy a house that costs a fortune to run. (it was paid off the day we moved in)!
I have a p/t job to maintain our lifestyle.....I can afford to sit at home and raise my kids take them to the store ANY DAY OF THE WEEK and buy them whatever they wanted.... that was the plan!!
amandastewart88 3/5/2014 10:09:24 AM Report

Wow people don't even know how much it actually costs to put your child in daycare . Maybe they should look at lowering that so people don't have to rely on the government to fork over money . As a single parent I have no problems working 12 hour days to support my children . The problem is to put my son who is an infant in an unsubsdized program it would cost me 40 dollars a day and I provide all food, diapers and nessecities. That's 200 a week. 800 a month. If I worked minimum wage at 40hour I would make 430 a week, 1720 a month . Minus daycare and not including taxes taken off that 920 take home . I have two kids and rent to pay and groceries to buy . So please tell me would you rather I sat on my ass at home on welfare which the taxpayers would pay 100 percent of my " wages " or go out and work for my money and contribute to society and support my own children and have some help with the tax money I pay out off each check anyways. Give your head a shake people this is affecting people who for the most part are already supporting themselves and their children. When do we say enough is enough with the raising costs of living . This is ridiculous ..
Bad Dawg 3/6/2014 12:24:44 AM Report

then we should get some sort of subsidy for everything?? why is childcare more important than groceries, rent, or food? We all complain that those necessities are too expensive. We all could benefit from cheaper everything!!

Start your own business taking care of everyone else's kids for $40 per kid all day. Between the snacks, diapers that you will supply (because you expect other daycares to supply them), there is a ton of costs in running a daycare crayons, coloring books, paint, paper, crafts, and support for their family (it is a business after all) that 40 bucks per kid is really not enough.

I say again KIDS COST MONEY.... don't have money, then don't have kids that apparently you can't afford!!

Boomer4771 5/10/2014 11:19:22 AM Report

There are a lot of people abusing the system. First of all all persons on subsidy should have to give their work scheduals to the day care suplied by their employer. you want to work overtime you get another sitter. your days off you take care of your kids. People are sending their children every day during the week and on weekends if they have a private sitter. This I have witnessed. Plus the female was getting support and making a very good wage.
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