The City is getting out of the daycare business. Council voted 9-4 in favour of ending the service by December 2017.
Council finally made a decision regarding Child Care services provided through the City, something it has done for 40 years.
Despite on going calls from parents and child care workers to continue the service, the move is expected to put 30 staff out of work, 12 being full time.
Many of the councillors including Matthew Shoemaker and Susan Myers believe the City is doing the right thing, stating that the 100 spaces provided through the City will create 20 additional spaces through the District Social Services Administration Board.
Myers who seconded the motion penned by Shoemaker, stated her thoughts on the matter hasn’t changed for two years citing the City was forced into this service 40 years when the Province downloaded the responsibility to the municipality. “Most municipalities have gotten out of the daycare system” Myers said.
The City will still pay about $1.3 million to the DSSAB for daycare.
Mayor Provenzano, who was last to comment before the vote believes the DSSAB will be able to provide the same quality of service and believes the jobs lost through the City will be picked up by other providers that the DSSAB will oversee.
“There should be a similar number of jobs in the system , if the money is used through the DSSAB as opposed through the city.
The current system left the coffers $310,000 in the red annually.
Ward 6 councillor Ross Romano said “Our goal should be to provide the greatest number of spots for the greatest number of people.” Ward 5 Frank Fata echoed that statement, ““We need to consider the majority of the taxpayers”
Ward 1 Steve Butland was not convinced, he told council “There is uncertainty that I believe will create a complete disarray in child care in Sault Ste. Marie”
The move will leave hundreds of parents looking for alternative services.
Those on council who favoured the motion were Matthew Shoemaker, Susan Myers, Sandra Hollingsworth, Paul Christian, Rick Niro, Frank Fata, and Ross Ramano along with Mayor Provenzano. Those against were Steve Butland, Lou Turco, Marchy Bruni and Joe Krmpotich.