Teddy Bear Daycare: Letters by Bea
By Caroline Smalley on Apr 09 2008, last modified on Jul 05 2008.
Keep our Community Livable!
We need our Daycare
It has been said that transitioning families from Teddy Bear Daycare to the Whistler Children’s Centre will benefit families. The unique services offered at Teddy Bear Daycare will not be offered at the Whistler Children’s Centre.…
Keep our Community Livable!
We need our Daycare
It has been said that transitioning families from Teddy Bear Daycare to the Whistler Children’s Centre will benefit families. The unique services offered at Teddy Bear Daycare will not be offered at the Whistler Children’s Centre. How can reducing options be a benefit? I want to tell you about one family that will certainly NOT benefit.
I am writing in regards to the pending closure of Teddy Bear Daycare. In an article in the Question March 27 th, it mentions that the RMOW has representation on a childcare steering committee that played a part in the decision to close Teddy Bear Daycare.
Since my letter to the editor appeared in the Question, I have had several calls from other parents who share my concern. We are still frustrated by the lack of information regarding the reasons for this decision. In the March 27 th article in the Question, Dennis Marriott of states that the Teddy Bear Daycare operates at or near capacity while the Spring Creek Daycare is underused. Could they possibly think the Spring Creek Daycare is a reasonable alternative to Teddy Bear Daycare?
The Teddy Bear Daycare offers a service that compliments that of the Whistler Children’s Centre. The Whistler Children’s Centre is great for parents who have set work schedules and can commit to a predetermined fixed schedule of daycare days. The Teddy Bear Daycare serves the rest of the community. While operating under the constraints of their respective licenses, Teddy Bear Daycare offers 4 types of services not offered by the Whistler Children’s Centre; extended hours, flexible scheduling, drop-in care, statutory holidays and Saturdays.
This decision will limit child care options. Many parents who do not need to commit to a fixed schedule need to have another option for the times when they need daycare.
During the exercise of establishing the boundaries of the , it became known that most Whistler families live north of the village. If you force parents who live north of the village and work in the village to drive to Spring Creek twice a day, that’s an additional 40kms in daily driving. It effectively eliminates any opportunities to leave the car at home. Over a year it adds up 10,400 kms of additional driving. For me, that would more than double my driving for the year. People who find the Spring Creek location convenient are already using it. I think the numbers speak for themselves. We have 2 daycares in the village area at capacity and an underused one at Spring Creek. With Daycare centres near the village bursting at the seams a lot of parents will be in a bind when Teddy Bear Daycare closes its doors. The condition of our roads in the winter, and the extra time it takes to travel to Spring Creek, also makes this daycare not feasible for many parents.
This situation will impact the affordability of living in Whistler. It will also impact environmental concerns as it will put more cars on the road in a significant way.
I’m sure we can find the Arts Council a suitable space without displacing Teddy Bear Daycare.
I would like to know who sets the mandate for the Board of Millennium Place. Is the Board accountable to the RMOW? Will the RMOW try to relocate the Teddy Bear Daycare in the village so it can continue to provide a valuable service to the families of Whistler? I realize that providing daycare is not in the purview of the RMOW but helping us to make the community livable is. If you have any power to stop the landlord from evicting the Daycare, it sure would be nice if you would exercise it.
My child was in the Marmots program at the Whistler Children’s Centre until he started kindergarten in September. After 4 years of mostly full-time daycare, I found myself in a position to take a break from day-care until my busy season came around again in February, allowing me to spend more time with my son. In December I requested to re-enroll my son in Marmots. By mid-February it became clear that space would not be available so we went to Teddy Bear. For our family, the Teddy Bear Daycare has been an absolute lifesaver. Because Teddy Bear has drop-in care, in addition to the regular after-school days, I can sign up for all the days the school is closed including the 2 week March break and pay only for the days I use. They are open on Statutory Holidays. The extended hours are also a huge benefit. For me, 5:30 is a difficult pick-up time as most people want to stop by my office on their way home from work. The comments made by Julia Black and Stephany Smith are offensive. It may be that the people taking advantage of the extended hours are few, but they have a need and don’t deserve to be dismissed. They are clearly not included in the ‘win-win-win’ analysis.
I would find this less frustrating if we were told the reasons for the decision instead of how much of a benefit it is to close down the only facility that offered our family the child care that we needed this winter and spring.
The Whistler Children’s Centre is a fabulous facility with wonderful teachers. It certainly satisfies the child care needs of many families. However, for families who need the flexibility it would be nice to have a choice in a child care centre. The Whistler Children’s Centre will benefit by getting a bigger piece of the funding pie. The only way the community will benefit is if the WCC uses this enhanced funding to expand its services to replace those lost by the closing of Teddy Bear Daycare.