Slow gov’t subsidy payments frustrate day cares: Operator fed up

Mike Youds, Kamloops Daily News

A licensed day care provider is so frustrated by late government payments for subsidized children that she’s decided to quit the business.

Judy Van Goor, who has run Mama Bear’s Child Care in Westsyde for the past 17 years, said the Ministry of Child and Family Development has been tardy with subsidy payments over the past six months to a degree where she can no longer afford to carry the debt.

“I’m actually closing,” Van Goor said Friday. “I’ve had it. Just the frustration — everything. ..Payments that used to take two weeks are now taking months. Parents on low or fixed incomes are having the same difficulty in trying to obtain the subsidy. They’re having trouble just connecting by phone with the child-care subsidy program, which assists low- and moderate-income families.

The problem is widespread. Many licensed day care centres in Kamloops won’t accept subsidized children, said Patti Pernitsky of Kamloops United Church Preschool and Out of School Care.

“It’s very painful,” Pernitsky said. “It makes you think long and hard. I can see how it would be very hard not having sustainability.”

The subsidy issue could compound a continuing shortage of day care spaces. Although a number of new operations have opened recently, wait lists remain for after-school care and under-six day care, Pernitsky said….

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