Not with­out fight

Jewels and Gems Day Care clo­sure re­mains set for July 31

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE smont­gomery@cb­post.com

A rally was held on Mon­day to draw at­ten­tion to the im­pend­ing clo­sure of a Glace Bay day­care.

More than 60 peo­ple at­tended a rally in sup­port of the Jewels and Gems Day Care on Mon­day, which will be clos­ing July 31, due to a deficit.

“It was up­set­ting news,” said Ol­lie Somer­ton of Glace Bay, whose daugh­ter Breah Caines, 4, at­tends the day­care. “It’s more like the kids are home when they’re here, there’s no wor­ries. The staff is great.”

Somer­ton at­tends the Nova Sco­tia Com­mu­nity Col­lege Mar­coni Cam­pus where she’s study­ing to be a li­censed prac­ti­cal nurse.

“Now I don’t know what I’ll do when I go back to school. I won’t have any day­care.”

Tara Reid, who’s son Ma­son, 4, has been at­tend­ing for two years, said it’s a good safe place for kids to go when you have to work. She is a hair­styl­ist who works from home and her hus­band works out west.

The rally was or­ga­nized by Wayne Mauger, who was shocked when he dropped his grand­daugh­ter off at the day­care a week ago and was handed a let­ter stat­ing it would be clos­ing for good on July 31 due to a fi­nan­cial short­fall.

Mauger said he likes the day­care and had planned to register a sec­ond grand­child in Fe­bru­ary.

He was pleased by the turnout for the rally, but not sur­prised.

“No, I’m not sur­prised be­cause I know the way Cape Bre­ton is,” he said. “If they fig­ure some­thing is right, they rally around.”

Mauger said he is hear­ing there’s in­ter­est in the build­ing and he is hope­ful it will re­main a day­care.

Cather­ine Roach, di­rec­tor of the Jewels and Gems Day Care, said the board of di­rec­tors de­cided on June 23 that it would have to close, but they are still “hop­ing for a mir­a­cle.”

The day­care was re­fused a bank loan and an ap­pli­ca­tion for pro­vin­cial fund­ing has not been ap­proved and they’re run­ning out of time.

Roach con­firmed there is lots of in­ter­est in the build­ing. She is hop­ing new own­ers can main­tain the day­care cur­rently in place.

“We have a deficit, there’s a time limit for it, that’s why we’re closed at the end of July to give par­ents time to find other child­care and for us to move for­ward to pos­si­bly sell the build­ing,” she said.

“We are hop­ing for the rally to bring at­ten­tion to the right peo­ple.”

Mean­while on Mon­day sup­port came from day­cares across the Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

“We’re here to sup­port our fel­low early child­care ed­u­ca­tors,” said Lisa Gen­tile, re­source co-or­di­na­tor at the Town Day Care in Glace Bay. “We’ve got to all stick to­gether, we’re all fight­ing the same bat­tle.”

Janet Camp­bell, di­rec­tor of the Play School Day­care in New Water­ford, said they were at the rally in sup­port of the di­rec­tor and her work­ers.

“It would be nice to see it work out.”

Rhoda Muller, di­rec­tor of the Kins­men Day Care in Bras d’Or was on hand, as well as He­len Mor­timer of the Health Park Early Learn­ing Cen­tre in Syd­ney and Tr­ish Martin, early child­hood re­source co-or­di­na­tor for Cape Bre­ton.

SHARON MONT­GOMERY-DUPE/CAPE BRE­TON POST

Wayne Mauger, front, stands with his grand­daugh­ter Jor­dyn Mauger, 5, at a rally in sup­port of the Jewels & Gems Day Care in Glace Bay on Mon­day, along with from left, Ol­lie Somer­ton, Avery Cly­burn, 4, Somer­ton’s daugh­ters Breah Caines, 4, and Kayleigh Caines, 5, and Aliviah Martell-Young, 3.

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