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This article was published 10/12/2014 (2074 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Parents are getting help finding day care from the province after a private child care centre shut its doors, a provincial spokeswoman confirmed Thursday.
The Treehouse Treasures Child Care Centre was a licensed as a private facility that operated at 1790 Main Street. The owner placed a notice of closure on the front door sometime after Friday and before Monday.
"We were aware it was going to close," said a spokeswoman for province’s Child and Youth Opportunities department. "We’re working with the parents to help them establish a licensed non-profit centre or help them get alternative child care."
The centre had 38 licensed spaces. Most recently 33 children were enrolled, according to information provided to the province.
The owner advised the province he had met with interested parties in early September to let them know he would no longer operate.
The province provides expertise and advice to parents who, failing to find day care, are left with the option of starting their own centre. That’s a decision that involves a committed group of parents who are willing to put in time to raise funds and then oversee administration of a daycare. However, it's not an overnight fix, the spokeswoman said.
Family Services staff were advised that the owner had approached parents to take over the centre; as a result, staff met with parents who were looking into the possibility of setting up a non-profit centre to provide them with information, a second Family Services spokesman said.
"To date, of eight families who have asked for assistance, three families have found spaces elsewhere and we have provided contact information to the five others, as an offer of assistance to find alternate spaces," the spokesman added.
"We have worked with parents to help them establish a licensed, non-profit child care centre and continue to be open to pursuing that with them. We also continue to assist parents to find alternate child care arrangements," the spokesman said.
A notice on the door provided contact information. The owner has advised the province he will refund fees and he has parents' outstanding deposits.
In 2011, police were called to Treehouse when a four-year-old was left behind alone at a nearby school ground after an outing with daycare staff. That violation, and others incidents mainly to do with poor record-keeping which came to light in a follow-up inspection, had been rectified to the satisfaction of child care program officials, the provincial spokeswoman said.
Day care fees for non-profit and subsidized daycare spaces are set by the province at $18 per day for preschool care and $28 per day for infants, under the Manitoba Child Care Program. Private day cares, like Treehouse, may set their own rates; they receive no subsidy.
Like other provinces, Manitoba has a shortage of daycare spaces.
At the beginning of 2014, Manitoba had nearly 32,500 licensed day care spaces for infants, preschool and school-aged children, including those with additional support needs. At that time, the province announced a construction program to add 250 new child-care spaces to five schools in Winnipeg, St. Andrews and Oak Lake.
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