Local Press Releases

Witmer, Harris and Leone Ask School Board To Listen to Parents on Child Care

January 13, 2012

WATERLOO REGION – Today, Elizabeth Witmer, MPP for Kitchener-Waterloo, Michael Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga and Rob Leone, MPP for Cambridge-North Dumfries, released a joint letter urging the Waterloo Region District School Board to listen and consider what parents and families want when it comes to choice in child care for their children.

The MPPs have sent the letter to board chair Catherine Fife, outlining the many concerns constituents’ have raised about the board’s plan to completely eliminate third party child care providers such as the YMCA and OWL from the Region’s schools and replace them with a completely board-run service for children aged four to seven.

MPP Witmer expressed her disappointment with the board’s failure to have meaningful consultations with parents before any recommendations were made. “It is very disappointing to see recommendations being made without prior consultation with the parents and families that stand to be affected.”

“Parents and guardians – not the school board – should be the ultimate decision makers when choosing the day care provider most appropriate for their children,” said Michael Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “ The best solution for local families would be for the Waterloo Region District School Board to implement the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board’s model, which supports existing before-and after-school programs while at the same time establishing new public day care services in schools without a current provider.”

“Before the Legislature rose, I introduced a Private Members’ Bill to protect third-party child care providers inOntario, especially in Waterloo Region. When the Legislature resumes, we will continue to push the McGuinty government to call this bill for second reading to ensure that the needs of parents, children and stakeholders in Waterloo Region, are not ignored by the school boards,” said Cambridge-North Dumfries MPP Rob Leone.