New operator for Belle River daycare, second location to close
There will be a new operator for the daycare at Belle River Public School.
The YMCA is taking over the operation on June 30 after the Greater Essex County District School Board did not renew its contract with Sonshine Daycare.
Some parents have already received a notice about an open house by the YMCA. It will be held Wednesday April 12 from 5 p.m to 6:30 p.m.
Tracy Bailey is a board director for Sonshine Daycare. She tells CTV Windsor many parents and educators are disappointed with the news.
Bailey adds they were “blindsided” by the notice of termination and haven't been fully able to explore the reasoning for the closure at Belle River Public School.
Another board member, Dale Sanger, says they have no choice but to close their second location at St. John the Baptist elementary school.
“The catholic board daycare cannot survive on its own,” says Sanger.
Sanger explains their operation at St. John the Baptist Catholic School was partially funded through the before and after school programs at Belle River Public School.
“Without that money, the daycare operation is not financially viable” adds Sanger.
Public School Board Superintendent of Business and Treasurer Cathy Lynd wouldn't go into detail about the decision to change operators. Lynd tells CTV Windsor the new daycare would operate the same way, and offer summer programs.
Sonshine Daycare has been in Belle River for more than 30 years.
Up to 100 children are affected by the closures, but some are expected to continue at the daycare operated by the YMCA.
About 20 daycare employees are also impacted by the decision.
The decision by Sonshine to close its operation at St. John the Baptist School also took the Catholic School Board by surprise.
"What we've been doing is trying to reassure our parents as much as we possibly can that we're working very hard on trying to find a new operator that'll be able to go in there" says Communications Coordinator Stephen Fields.
Fields is confident they will be able to find a new daycare operator by September.