KeepHealthCare.ORG – Parents inWest Prince frustrated by lack of day care spaces | Local | News
SUMMERSIDE – Chelsey Pollon is running out of time. Her maternity leave ends next month but she can’t return to work unless she finds a daycare to take her 11-month-old daughter, Tenley.
She’s called daycares from Tignish to O’Leary, but it’s no use, she said.
“All of them said they were full for infant spaces and there was long waiting lists but they could put my name on them anyway.”
She even tried calling people who offered daycare services out of their home, but even they had waiting lists.
“I’m very frustrated and slightly worried I may not be able to return to work when my maternity leave is up.”
Jean Doherty, communications officer for the minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture, says all early years centres across P.E.I. were invited to apply for 20 infant spaces and 60 preschool spaces, which would be approved this month.
“We are working with and supporting operators who may be interested in adding spaces. The demand must be there for them to find space, hire staff and expand or open a new centre,” said Doherty.
In August, the federal government announced it would give $10.5 million in funding to child care in P.E.I. This meant child care centres would be able to take on more children and be open longer hours.
Earlier this month, it was announced there would be nine new spaces in Stratford, 16 in Rollo Bay and a total of 90 in Charlottetown, Belfast and Long Creek, but in Prince County, Pollon still can’t find any openings.
“It’s more important to me now, more than it ever has been, to have a full-time income now that I have a baby to provide for.”
She doesn’t have high hopes for the government to fix the issue right away, but wishes something would open up for her and any other parents looking for daycare.
“People, I think, need to voice their concerns more vocally to either the child-care centres, so they can let the government know there’s a demand for spaces in that specific location, or maybe even contacting someone in government directly to let them know there’s a need.”