Full-day kindergarten hurts child care centres

Carole Rooney, 100 Mile House Free Press

The advent of full-day kindergarten has caused some hardships for area child care centres….

The B.C. Liberal government recently announced extra provincial funding … in the Cariboo that will share a total bonus payment of $7,300….

The total of $2,626 in bonus funding for the South Cariboo includes 100 Mile House Child Care Society (OMHCCS), which will get $1,113, while the Canim Lake Indian Band will receive $1,068, and C of 108 Mile Ranch is slated for pick up $445.

However, the OMHCCS’s 100 Mile Child Care Centre program supervisor Kristen Haggstrom says the funding won’t go far enough to offset the troubles full-day kindergarten has caused them.

“[Parents of] kindergarten kids would typically still pay the full day’s rate, so it’s a huge financial impact locally….”

The centre’s after-school program has been shut down as a result of lack of kindergarten children, she adds.

“[The bonus is] sort of a token amount. …

She explains that with the average person paying $25/day per licensed spot, such as the centre charges, the bonus only covers about two day’s revenue over a 10-month school year.

“Their [provincial] money is a little bit laughable, but we’ll take whatever we can get I guess.”…

The subsidy used to fully cover the full child care rate, she explains, but now it doesn’t.

“The staff all took pay cuts to continue to balance the budget. Otherwise, we were having to look at closing, which is a huge impact for parents.”…