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Peel region to vote on daycare closures

Parents in Peel after fuming after a city report recommended closing all 12 regionally-operated daycare centres.

“They have pulled the rug out from under people,” Lisa Martinez told CityNews. She has one child in daycare.

“They have created a crisis for 800 to 1,000 parents.”

Peel region commissioned the report after the Ontario government announced it would create all-day kindergarten across the province by 2014.

The review was conducted by KPMG, the same agency that advised Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on that city’s service cuts ahead of the 2012 budget.  

The report going to council recommends closing the centres by September of 2012, and redirecting the $13.6 million to provide nearly a thousand child care subsidies, support for children with special needs and increasing wage subsidy funding for child care centres.

A region of Peel representative tells CityNews in September about half of the children currently in their regionally-operated daycares will be going into grade one or will be eligible for full day kindergarten

Peel region council will vote on the report on Thursday.

Martinez said she expected the report would recommend some cuts, but nothing like this.

“To shut down an entire service…I’ll be scrambling to find care for my daughter,” she said.

If council votes to close daycare centres, about 300 people would be out of a job.

“We’re very worried about our jobs, we’re very worried about child care in general,” one employee, who didn’t want to be identified, told CityNews.