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Even daycare operations like puzzles and arts and crafts now cost more, explains Jeannie Dixon.

Radio-Canada

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Some people who manage daycares in Prince Edward Island say rising operating costs make it difficult to keep their services affordable while still earning their income. life.

Daycare centers have been forced to close their doors in recent months, forcing more parents to join the long waiting list for child care.

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Shaniya Butler Ferguson operated an unlicensed home daycare in Cornwall. However, as costs increased, daycare ceased to be profitable and parents could not afford an increase in fees to offset this increase.

Shaniya Butler Ferguson closed her unlicensed home daycare in Cornwall last month. Up to six children attended her daycare, and she charged parents $35 a day, including lunch. However, she says it barely covered her costs.

I had $5 left at the end of the week. For a few months, I had to borrow money from my mother, she confides.

She told parents her fees would have to increase, but many of them couldn't afford it.

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Jeannie Dixon says her daycare business has become a balancing act between keeping childcare affordable and being able to make a decent living.

Others, like Jeannie Dixon, who has run an unlicensed home daycare in Charlottetown since 2020, are managing to stay afloat, but only by charging parents more.

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She s& #x27;takes care of four children and charged $35 per day until recently.

But then with the increase in prices of groceries and everything else, we increased our prices to $40, she expressed, emphasizing that beyond the x27;groceries, she also paid more for puzzles and for arts and crafts materials.

The operators Home child care centers that meet certain requirements may apply for provincial licensing.

With this permit, operators are eligible for an annual operating grant of $30,000 if they agree to reduce their fees to $10 per day, the same rate currently charged in provincially regulated early childhood centers .

However, it's not as simple as signing a paper. Shaniya Butler Ferguson said she started the process but ultimately found it was too complicated.

I should have had the fire department and a few different inspectors come to my house. I should have put a fence out back. I should have renovated the bathrooms.

A quote from Shaniya Butler Ferguson, home daycare owner

Some operators of approved centers have indicated that government funding is not enough to offset rising costs and provide them with a decent living.

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Jamie-Lee Brown says she will have to quit her job if she and her husband can't find child care for their daughter.

Late last year, Jamie-Lee Brown learned that the licensed in-home daycare she uses would close on December 22, which ultimately extended until FEBRUARY. Today, she and her husband are trying to find other options for their child.

The day she found out she was pregnant, she registered on the Prince Edward Island child care registry, which is used to put parents on waiting lists for approved centers from the island.

And I never received a call, she said.

Today, she and her husband seek child care in the unlicensed market, which is often more expensive.

The options aren't great. These services cost between $35 and $50 per day, and that's expensive. It's difficult for a young family.

A quote from Jamie-Lee Brown, mother

What if they can't find daycare?

I'm going to quit my job, she admitted. I love my job, so it's really difficult. We have a really supportive family, but I can't ask them to take care of our toddler full time.

The province is aware of these concerns, admitted Doreen Gillis, director of early childhood development for the province.

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Doreen Gillis, PEI's director of early childhood development, says the ministry will host a focus group of unlicensed operators to determine what they need to stay afloat.

Some of the province's 16 licensed home child care centers told his team that even with subsidies, they too are struggling with rising costs. costs.

They are very eager to know what funding will look like for next year, she said.

The ministry plans to meet with operators over the coming months to get an idea of ​​what they need. She said the grant amount will increase but the amount is still not established.

Approved reception centers are a very important piece of the child care puzzle in Prince Edward Island, she said.

Unlicensed home child care centers that are in trouble should call the department and review the process of getting licensed, she said.

Based on a report bySteve Bruce, ofCBC< em>

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