A report from an audit by KPMG - released only days ago - recommended closing five daycare centres in Brampton and seven in Mississauga. In less than a week, Councillors are putting this to a vote. What's the rush? Why are the Councillors avoiding input from the people whose lives would be affected by the closures?
Closing these 12 daycare centres would eliminate around 800 child care spaces and almost 300 jobs. The goal is supposedly saving the Region money, but as we've seen time and again, these supposed savings rarely, if ever, materialize.
Since hearing about this report, parents in the area have been understandably worried, even panicked. The don't know how or where they'll be able to arrange dependable care for their children during working hours.
If Region contracts are awarded to private day-care companies, daycare costs are sure to rise, at a time when so many families are already struggling.
Inevitably, closing public daycare centres will lead to an increase in unlicensed, informal daycare arrangements, which have no oversight or accountability. Those situations may put children at risk and will create anxiety for working parents.
Hundreds of trained child-care professionals also stand to lose their jobs.
So who wins? That is, besides ideologues opposed to public services on principle, and shareholders who profit from corporate childcare?
From the Brampton Guardian:
It’s unfortunate that an information meeting held Friday in Mississauga that might have helped allay some concerns and fill in some of the blanks for parents actually barred the media from attending. The reason given, apparently, was that the region didn’t want to panic parents or bring them any extra anxiety. What a telling statement. The region’s approach to calming parents who are already clearly agitated and anxious is to prevent them from finding out more information through media reports?Region of Peel, wake up and do the right thing. You are supposed to represent the people of Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon, not KPMG, and not corporate daycare companies.
Certainly, some of those parents who attended the meeting said afterward that their concerns had not been addressed and one parent concluded the region has “no plan” for how it would implement such closures. We wouldn’t know because we weren’t invited.
Mississauga News: Parents outraged