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Childcare Fees

At our March 18th meeting, Council will be discussing proposed changes to City run preschool and after school care programs. As always, I'll be posting background information and my opinion the weekend before. But I'm still grappling to form my position.

Most of our discussion will revolve around fees.

So I'd love to ask you: what are your expectations around our fees for childcare?

Compared to other childcare facilities in the community: should we aim to be the cheapest, middle-of-the-pack, or on the higher end?

When looking at our revenue/expenses: should we aim to be as close to break-even as possible? Or is this something you are comfortable with having taxpayers subsidize in order to offer lower fees? Or is this an area where modest profit is appropriate if it is re-invested into expanding childcare or other programs for kids?

For individuals that run their own day homes under the City banner: should our goal be to have them make somewhat generous earnings, have their earnings about equivalent to what they would make with other organisations, or be as efficient as possible with the money passed through to them?

Some important considerations as you contemplate this: 1) The province offers income-based subsidies to many families accessing these programs. 2) There are large waiting lists in our community. 3) Our programs are accredited to offer a higher quality of care than is legally necessary. 4) A fear some have: if we are too competitive on prices, it may make other organisations less willing to startup or expand their programs.

If this interests you, I'd encourage you to read the staff report that presented options. It is here.

Let me know what you think by commenting here, emailing me at dbressey@cityofgp.com, calling me at 780-402-4166, or finding me on Facebook.

Thanks for whatever insight you are able to offer!

-Dylan