Parents get daycare relief as Northumberland County adds 181 new spaces, says manager

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Parents received positive news when the Northumberland County council approved 181 new daycare spaces.

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Parents looking for childcare received big news recently. The county announced the creation of an additional 181 daycare spaces, which is significant given that more than 3,000 families are on waitlists.

The new spaces will be in Port Hope, Warkworth, and the Northumberland Centre for Individual Studies in Cobourg.

Yet Lesley Patterson, manager of the Early Year services program, said this is a step in the right direction. The county is working towards adding more than 404 spaces by 2026.

While $10-a-day childcare is not a reality in the county, Patterson said some spaces are $12. She also said there continue to be challenges with staffing. A new classification system is being used where registered early childhood educators are hired, but some operators hire people with related experience. These are called “director-approved”. It is a way to bridge the gap and address staffing shortages while meeting the demand for spaces.

Originally broadcast: July 5, 2024

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