The YMCA has announced they will close their Dartmouth daycare at the end of October.
Spokesperson Barbara Miller said Thursday the early child-care centre hasn’t been financially sustainable.
“This particular program has had a deficit for the past four years,” Miller said. “It’s also in a leased facility that is requiring a number of upgrades and we just don’t have the capital resources to make those happen in order to bring the building up to standards.”
Some of these upgrades would have improved the playground and the building’s ventilation system, Miller said.
The YMCA is a non-profit organization that was dealing with a leased space for 10 years.
“We’re meeting with each of the families that want to meet with us to determine what their childcare needs are,” Miller said.
The daycare provides services tp 56 children and their families, some of whom protested the closure outside the centre Thursday morning. Miller said the YMCA told parents “a couple weeks” ago they were considering the closure.
The YMCA employs nine full-time staff at the centre. Termination notices about the closure were sent out Tuesday.
The staff unionized with the Canadian Union of Public Employees in December last year, and CUPE representative Naomi Stewart said her organization is suspicious of the YMCA’s motives.
“The timing of this closure is highly suspect. This centre has, at least, 18 full-time spaces available,” Stewart said in a release. “To say that financial sustainability is a factor when spaces are waiting to be filled is, in our opinion, not valid.”
Andrew Younger, Liberal MLA for Dartmouth East, also condemns the decision and is calling on the YMCA to reverse it.
“It is outrageous that the YMCA expects parents to find new spots for their children in such a short time,” Younger said in a release. “As a community-based organization, the YMCA should have consulted with parents and the community. The fact that didn’t happen is unacceptable.”