There’s a shortage of qualified, dedicated care workers in Victoria, which affects local daycares’ ability to operate at capacity, writes onbe operator. iStock photo

Victoria daycare operator clarifies issues facing industry

Lack of qualified care providers at a critical point

Re: Parent fear lack of childcare spaces (News, June 7)

Parents going into panic mode at the thought of finding alternative daycare arrangements is not a reliable source of the inventory of spaces available in the community. A call to Victoria Child Care Resource and Referral is.

Much to the disappointment of the “not enough daycare spaces narrative,” there are, in fact, ample spaces all throughout Oaklands, Fairfield, Fernwood, James Bay etc., that is if you are speaking of licensed group facilities, taking children ages three to five, which is what ABC Kinder Garden is.

All of these facilities will have a number of children moving onto kindergarten in the fall and will have new spaces coming available for September. Our facility took several families from ABC and were happy to refer any of the other families to facilities in the area, such as Castleview, Carousel, Christ Church Cathedral and others, all accepting children for spots in September.

The real issue, which was only touched upon in that article, is those families whose children will be starting kindergarten this September and who have been left dangling, without care for a three weeks. How will they bridge that gap? Why did their long-time care provider choose not to operate for those few extra weeks for the sake of those families?

However, the biggest issue, and the elephant in the room not spoken about widely enough, is the lack of qualified care providers in the field. An entire weekly column could be written on the number of centres not operating at full capacity due to insufficient staff.

While numerous young people enter the field with paper credentials that meet Island Health licensing requirements, just as many quit or are let go because they do not have the passion, temperament or true training required to stay in the field. The pay scale does not support the level of work and commitment required.

This is where the government needs to step in. There is no shortage of spaces, only a shortage of the kind of child care provider you would feel comfortable leaving your children with.

Alyson Culbert

Director, Sundance Playschool

Victoria

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