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TORONTO – As of August 31, Garderie la joie, a francophone child care centre housed in the Don Valley East district will be closed leaving approximately 75 families scrambling to find alternative child care for back-to-school.

Fall can be a stressful time for families and the imminent closure of this French child care centre raises concerns with regards to the larger problem of child care in Ontario. With over 20,000 children on waitlists in the City of Toronto, and already scarce francophone child care spaces in the region, many of these children will end up in English child care centres – if they can find a space at all.

Garderie la joie is housed in one of Toronto’s French schools – Jeanne La Joie – in Ward 34 of the City and is part of the Toronto District School Board. Children there know and trust their caregivers but also those they interact with while at school, such as teachers, early childhood educators, school support staff and more.

Most of the workers at Garderie la joie have developed relationships with these children and their families in an environment where they are able to communicate and grow in their first language – French, says Debbie Oldfield, CUPE representative. Continuity is key in a child’s development and the closure of this centre will have a negative impact on their progress and learning.”

Lack of funding is blamed for the closure and now more than ever, the City and province must work together to stabilize and strengthen our municipally delivered child care centres, especially those offering services in languages other than English.

Quality, affordable child care is hard to come by and we are calling on the City of Toronto and the Toronto District School Board to work with us to ensure that adequate funding is made available to keep these centres open,” added Oldfield.

This francophone child care centre is in high demand and already has a large waitlist for children awaiting French spaces.

Parents and workers at the child care centre will join forces to see what can be done to keep this centre open and keep providing French child care to the children and families of Don Valley East who rely on this quality public service.

For more information, please contact:

Marjorie Savoie, CUPE Communications: (613) 864-9924