Mayor Debbie Amaroso and Members of City Council are seeking the public’s input on the possible transfer of the City’s 100 day care spaces from municipally-operated day care centres to other licenced not-for-profit day care providers. City day care facilities include Jessie Irving, Maycourt, and the Best Start program at Holy Family School.
At its May 12, 2014 meeting, Council received reports from staff that provided details on possibly transferring the 100 municipal day care spaces to other licenced providers, due to funding cuts from the Ministry of Education. The reports included funding information provided from the City and Province, through the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administrative Board (DSSMSSAB), for both subsidized and non-subsidized (termed ‘full-fee’) spaces. These reports can be viewed on the City website www.cityssm.on.ca – City Hall Bulletins – Possible Transfer of Day Care Spaces.
The City operates 100 of the approximately 1,400 day care spaces that DSSMSSAB administers by way of 17 not-for-profit organizations licenced by the Province to deliver day care services.
Through DSSMSSAB, the City currently funds, and will continue to fund, approximately $1.3 million as its share for the 1400 spaces. The City also funds $578,000 (2015 level) for annual operating costs at Jessie Irving, Maycourt, and Best Start at Holy Family School, not covered by revenue. Current and future capital costs for municipal day care facilities will add to this annual amount.
Of the City’s 100 spaces, approximately 50 are subsidized by DSSMSSAB and the City, and about 50 pay the ‘full-fee’ amount. The cost for each municipal space is approximately $80/day. The amount received for each DSSMSSAB subsidized space is approximately $70/day. The ‘full-fee’ rate is presently approximately $40/day. The ‘full-fee’ would need to increase to $80/day in order to cover the cost of operating the municipal day care centres.
The transfer of the 100 municipal day care spaces to other providers would in effect mean that 15 full-time jobs would be cut from municipal operations. Some, if not all, of these jobs may be required by the new licenced providers.
The public (users as well as other tax payers) is encouraged to submit comments regarding the transfer of day care spaces through an online survey found on the City website – www.cityssm.on.ca – City Hall Surveys. The deadline to complete the survey is June 14.
For additional information, contact the Community Services Department at 705-759-5310.