John McGivney Centre Potentially Outsourcing Daycare

The John McGivney Children's Centre is exploring the possibility of outsourcing its daycare program.

CEO Elaine Whitmore says the centre is looking for expressions of interest by the end of the month.

Whitmore says they're looking to more quickly respond to their families and offer better range of options.

There are two classrooms at the moment with 38 children enrolled ranging in age from 15-months to 5 years old. Another 20 children are on a waitlist of which 18 have special needs.

Whitmore says it can be a six to 12-month wait before space in the classroom opens up. She says being able to reduce the waitlist is a major driver of the program review.

"We operate on the importance of early intervention and families are clearly indicating to us they would like to access childcare as quickly as possible," says Whitmore.

She stresses the ratio of children to teachers is mandated and will remain the same regardless of any potential new operator.

However, Whitmore admits a new operator may impact staff.

"That could be a possibility. We're going to try and see if there are ways we can mitigate that; I'm not 100% sure that we can, but we certainly will look for those opportunities," says Whitmore. "We value our staff and we certainly want to work to the best benefit of them as well."

Whitmore feels a new operator may be able to better respond to families' needs than is currently possible.

"Part of it is just the funding model that's associated with childcare and I would say primarily it's because we're such a small operator, we don't have great flexibility contained within such a small operation," she says.

Whitmore adds if there is enough interest, a formal Request for Proposal will be issued with the aim of bringing in a licensed operator for July 1 of this year.

The John McGivney Children's Centre cares for 2,000 children a year through its various programs including childcare, therapy and special needs services.

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