Not without fight
Jewels and Gems Day Care closure remains set for July 31
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.
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.