Kent’s drop-in daycare trial period extended

The childminding program at the Community Recreation and Cultural Centre will continue, at least until the summer.

At council Monday (Oct. 28), director of community services and projects Jennifer Thornton asked if the trial childminding program could be continued into the winter season. The program has been running since September, after council decided to start it on a trial basis for the fall.

According to Thornton, the program has been fairly well-received, with about six kids in each session. Seven people have purchased new memberships to the CRCC during the childminding trial, and the district has brought in about $335 in revenue from the program.

However, the district has also spent $1,633 in wages for the staff member required to run the childminding program. They work four hours over three days, and make $18 an hour.

According to Thornton, they always knew they would lose some money on the program.

“I think over time potentially that margin could be minimized, and hopefully we get a few more residents using that service,” she said.

Council decided to continue the childminding service until June, and staff will report back ot council on the continued feasibility of the project at that time.

On the whole, council sounded on board with the program moving forward.

“The uptake from the families, they’re so happy,” councillor Susan Spaeti said. “They said the seniors are very happy to see the kids. There’s a real community there now.”

Spaeti said she had talked to a few parents about the service, and all were happy it was around.

“One of them has even been turned away because it’s busy,” she said. “I think the fact that we’ve gotten seven new families that got memberships, that’s great.”

Mayor Sylvia Pranger agreed.

“I think that can only build, and I’m kind of excited to support this.”