Parents of some 70 children who attend a Junction area daycare have been left scrambling after receiving news that the facility will be closing in two months.
After 30 years in business, Humberside Daycare is shutting down, leading to a heated confrontation between the owners and parents.
“We’re not getting any younger,” said co-owner Molly Galle. “To get a program watered down due to our lack of energy is not a nice thing.”
“It’s difficult for parents because there are no spaces available after that,” said Galle’s husband and Humberside Daycare co-owner Felix Bednarski. “But I think the responsibility for the spaces available shouldn’t be put on us. It’s really the responsibility of the government.”
Parents argued that the 60 day notice was too last-minute and the owners should’ve told them as soon as possible, so they could have started looking for alternatives earlier.
Some say they may have to take a leave of absence at work to deal with the situation.
One parent told CityNews she was placed on a wait-list when she was just four months pregnant and her child was slated to get a spot at Humberside in September.
“We’ve applied everywhere else in the neighbourhood, but we’re not getting calls back from anyone,” she said. “We have potentially one shot, but now we’re against 116 other families. It’s an impossible situation right now.”
A lawyer tells CityNews that private daycare owners do not necessarily have to give parents extended warning before closing.
“When you usually enroll your child in daycare, there’s a contract that you sign and sometimes the contract says that you have to provide a certain amount of notice before they close to you,” says lawyer Tanya Walker. “Usually they don’t, and in that situation you just have to try and find somewhere for your child to be enrolled in daycare.”
“We desperately need a real childcare system that treats childcare similar to schools,” said Carolyn Ferns of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care. “We need public planning, we need affordable fees for families, and we need stability that’s offered by public and non-profit services.”
Humberside Daycare will close on August 31.