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Saturday, February 15, 2020

Brockton Considers Surcharge For Non-Residents At Daycare

Brockton | by Robyn Garvey  

Brockton Child Care Centre is a municipally-run daycare.

Brockton Council has directed staff to consult with the Brockton Child Care Centre Committee about potentially implementing a surcharge for families using the Centre who do not reside in Brockton.

Currently there are 131 families using the municipally owned day care and a waiting list of 237 children.

With such a high waiting list, the question has been raised at the Council level if future child care spaces should be limited to Brockton residents or if the daycare should consider implementing a surcharge for non-residents.

The reason being is that the Brockton Child Care Centre is a municipally run day care, which means it is taxpayer funded and subsidized.

Over the last five years the daycare budget has been 70 -thousand dollars a year with the 2020 proposed budget jumping to 83 thousand dollars.

The budget includes the long-term debt from the 2014 Child Care build project.

The extensive waiting list says staff shows the clear need for additional child care space which would require a Child Care Centre expansion.

Of the current 131 families using the Brockton Child Care Centre, 19 do not reside in Brockton.

Moving forward, Councilor Steve Adams questions if the Child Care Centre spaces should be reserved for Brockton residents only?

Adams says he is certainly not suggesting stopping service to current non-residents, but says with such an incredible wait list the option of prioritizing Brockton residents should be considered for future child care spaces.

Councilor Kym Hutcheon calls it a matter of fairness, noting it is not fair for Brockton taxpayers to subsidize the daycare costs on non-residents.

As such the question of a possible non-resident surcharge or priority for Brockton residents over non-residents will go back to the Brockton Child Care Centre Committee for discussion and suggestions.

The Brockton Child Care Centre is located in St. Teresa of Calcuta Catholic School in Walkerton.

Due to the high demand, there are plans in the works to hopefully expand the daycare with an additional two classrooms that would house up to 39 new child care spaces.  (School Board expansion project not Municipal.)

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