I went on the tour and spoke to Michelle, Chantal and Linette about
SHOOTING STAR DAY CARE / GARDERIE ETOILE FILANTE, I gained a great deal of
respect for what these people are trying to do, not only for the parents
of the children enrolled at the centre, but also for the entire community
of Valley East.
It has become perfectly clear that we do not have sufficient licensed
day care facilities in Valley East. It is also clear that we do not have
sufficient funding, even for the spaces that we do have. This may not be a
problem that is unique to this community, but it is something that will
have a profound impact on the future growth and development of the Valley
Valley East is recognized as one of the most attractive communities in
which to raise a family. As such, we are being considered by many young
parents as the place they would like to locate and begin a family.
However, one of the first questions these young couples must have answered
deals with day care.
Is there sufficient, quality day care available for
their children? Furthermore, since the employment situation is very
competitive in this region, many young mothers are forced to return to
their jobs as soon as possible or they will be replaced. This means that
they must find a place to care for their infants. And this is the one area
where licensed facilities such as Shooting Star Day Care are having
The City of Greater Sudbury is going to have to address this problem
before we move forward with an aggressive marketing plan designed to
attract new residents to the GSA. Since many of these new residents will
give consideration to Valley East as a place to buy a house and begin a
family, the lack of sufficient day care space will be a problem. And if
the fastest growing community in the Greater Sudbury Area is having
problems filling this need, what does it say for the rest of the region?
- The Federal Government's plan to provide $1200 per year of taxable
child care benefits is not the answer;
- Forcing individual Licensed Day Care Centres to do fund-raising to
purchase equipment and keep their facilities maintained, is not the
The answer lies in the City of Greater Sudbury providing special grant
money to the Licensed Day Care Centres so that facilities and equipment
can be maintained.
The answer lies in the City of Greater Sudbury providing incentives for
the creation of new licensed day care spaces in Valley East to accommodate
the demand from young families.
The answer also lies in making sure that there are enough, affordable
spaces for single parent families, or low-income families who must keep
their part-time jobs in order to put food on the table. Many of them
cannot afford to give up their jobs for fear of not being able to return
at a later time.
Until we come up with suitable answers, Valley East, and indeed, the
Greater Sudbury Area as a whole, will not be given serious consideration
as a place to locate by young families. It won't matter much what the City
does to market and promote the region to the outside if we do not have
space to take care of children.
For now, I commend the people working with
SHOOTING STAR DAY CARE / GARDERIE ETOILE FILANTE for what they have done
to create a first-class licensed day care facility for Valley East. I only
wish they had room for children so that we could continue to attract young
families to this community.