Ottawa Citizen

City cancels subsidized spaces at two child-care centres

- BY MATTHEW PEARSON

A decision by the children’s services department to discontinu­e a contract with two east-end child-care centres is forcing families to find new spaces for almost 150 children.

The city informed parents on June 7 that subsidized child-care spaces will no longer be available at the Orléans Child Care Centre on St-Joseph Boulevard and the Early Excellence Centre on Maxime Street in Gloucester. Families have 60 days to make alternate child-care arrangemen­ts.

Francine Riopelle, the division manager of children’s services, would not comment on why the centre’s contract is not being renewed after 20 years. However, she said parents would retain the subsidy, which covers anywhere from 60 to 100 per cent of the monthly fee and varies for different age groups and centres. Ms. Riopelle said contract turnover is common and suggested summer is an appropriat­e time to make changes.

With 3,000 licensed child-care spaces in the east end of the city, she added families should be able to locate new child-care spaces within the timeframe. According to her, the families of 25 of the 148 children affected by the decision have already made alternate arrangemen­ts, Ms. Riopelle said.

But the decision has not been warmly received by some parents who say the centres are convenient­ly located near schools, parks and other community resources.

There will be a meeting Monday night at 6 p.m. at the Orléans centre to discuss the decision.

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