Local Mom Fights GECDSB's Decision To Close Two Daycares

There's new information regarding a Belle River mom who's fighting the planned closure of two daycare centres in town.

The centres at Belle River Public and St. John the Baptist elementary schools are closing in June.

A board member with Sonshine Daycare now tells AM800 news that the Greater Essex County District School Board cancelled its contract and, since it can't afford to rent space elsewhere, both centres are closing down.

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board was wrongfully named in an online petition circulated over the past few days.

Spokesperson Stephen Fields says it didn't cancel the contract, in fact, it was the other way around.

"At the end of March we received notification from the operator at the St. John the Baptist site, that they would be cancelling their daycare agreement with the Catholic school board, which has left us in a position of trying to find a new operator to fill that space," says Fields.

Fields says he's confident the board can find a new operator to take over the space.

Parent Samantha Meloche calls the public school board's decision a huge mistake.

"It's a small town daycare, great providers, that's why we chose to go there. We don't have another choice, we can't drive to the city to drop our children off for child care then drive back to town for work. This is where we've gone and unfortunately it's being taken away from us," says Meloche.

Meloche says many parents are searching for other options but, to her knowledge, there are only three other daycares in Lakeshore.

"There's wait lists. There were wait lists when I put my daughter into daycare, so now we're scrambling to find child care for my daughter, as well as all the families affected by this," says Meloche.

Meloche has started a petition hoping to reverse the decision.