Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, Child Care Now, and Ottawa child care advocates are calling on the University of Ottawa to find an alternative home for Garderie Bernadette, which is at risk of closure because of the planned demolition of its home on the university campus. The bilingual child care centre has served the University of Ottawa community since 1988.
In the letter, advocates thanked the University administration for their years of support for the early learning and child care program and urged them to do all that they can to find an alternative home for this program, lest post-secondary students and university staff lose quality child care spaces, and educators lose their jobs.
At a time when child care spaces are scarce, losing a quality centre is an astronomical loss for the University staff and students that it serves, as well as for the city of Ottawa where parents must wait months and sometimes years to get a place in a licensed program.
In a letter to the President and VIce-President of the University, advocates reminded the University administrators that Garderie Bernadette was established by a visionary group who understood that access to early learning and child care helps ensure equitable access to post-secondary education for students with young children, and that a campus child care centre also helps those who work at the University parents strike a better work-life balance.
Garderie Bernadette offers programming in both French and English as well as infant child care, important services that are in short supply.
Child Care Now has offered full support to the Board of Directors, staff and parents of Garderie Bernadette as they campaign to save their centre.