Owner of Collingwood daycare blames minimum wage hike for closure
The long wait lists for child care in Collingwood are about to get even longer, as a daycare closes its doors.
Parents who send their children to Little People's Day Care received 10 days’ notice that the business would be closings its doors. The final day is Friday.
Owner Gail Ardiel says she won't be able to carry on after the minimum wage goes up next month.
“They are putting me out of business because I'm a small business operator; cannot afford minimum wage that is going up so quickly and not in stages,” she says.
Parents affected by the closure say other daycares in the area have long waiting lists to get in.
“I will have to stay home with her that’s all I can do right now,” says parent Jenny Alphonce.
Ardiel says commercial daycares like hers have also seen repair and maintenance funding cuts, and new limits on the number of subsidized children they can have.
Her day care is one of 35 for-profit operations in Simcoe County.
Ontario’s Ministry of Education does provide day care workers with wage enhancement grants.
The province recently announced another $12.7 million to help stabilize daycare fees for parents
The County of Simcoe also says it is offering subsidies that both non-profit and commercial daycare operators can apply for.
Still Ardiel says daycare is still getting too expensive for average families.
“Increased costs, lack of funding, lack of teachers; the list goes on and on.”