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VICTORIAOn Monday, February 21 at 6:30 p.m. Child Care advocates in the Victoria region will gather outside the cafeteria (Helmut Huber Annex) of Camosun Colleges Interurban Campus, in anticipation of an important decision by the Colleges Board of Governors.

Will the Board of Governors vote to keep or disband the well-respected child care program? The decision is anticipated to be announced at Mondays much-awaited meeting.

If the Board heeds the call by parents, students and advocates for a strong quality, non-profit, public child care program, they will keep the program open and make it viable, says Louise Oetting from the union that represents the child care program staff (CUPE 2081).

Camosun Colleges child care program, used primarily by students attending the college and recent graduates, has been an important child care resource in the Victoria area for eighteen years.

The program provides high quality, professional services by certified childcare educators, for up to sixty children ranging from infant to pre-school. It is one of the only childcare facilities in the Victoria region equipped to provide services to children with special needs.

The threats to the programs continuation began with the erosion of federal and provincial funding in recent years and have been intensified since the Camosun administration recommended that its annual subsidy to the program be discontinued in favour of funding other programs. Based on that recommendation, the College Administration declared last June that the child care program had a rising subsidy in excess of $250,000, which could not continue.

The Board subsequently called for a Task Force of stakeholders representing the College Child Care Program. This Task Force was charged with the development of a viable business plan before deciding on the future of the program at Camosun College.

Oetting expresses hope that in anticipation of a federal/provincial child care agreement the Board will see fit to maintain this invaluable support to student families as an access issue for education.

[Its] Not just for your children or their child care educators, but for all of those parents/students, who in future, require access to local affordable quality childcare in order that they and others like them may access education at Camosun College.


Information: Louise Oetting 250-213-5001 or office 250-370-3665.