The Montreal-based workplace daycare centre located in the federal government’s Guy Favreau building has been saved from closing its doors. PIPSC, other federal unions and families served by the centre have successfully intervened to keep the centre open. Workplace daycares like this one serve to provide a healthy work-life balance for many public service employees and their families.
Le Centre à la Petite Enfance du Complexe Guy-Favreau has existed for some 30 years and serves 70 children, 95% of them children of federal employees. Since 2000, Public Services and Procurement Canada (then Public Works and Government Services Canada) has provided accommodation without charging rent to the Centre, in accordance with the Treasury Board policy on child care in the workplace. The Centre was informed that this support would not be renewed after December 2016, and it was asked to pay over $190,000 annually for rent. The move made no sense and seemed aimed at forcing the vibrant facility to close. Child care centres run on small, tight budgets and the arbitrary decision to increase their rent to market value was causing the Centre to completely deplete its reserves.
Federal and provincial funds have now been secured to finance the rent subsidy for 2017 and 2018. This is not yet a long-term solution, but hopefully with concerted, continued pressure we can find a lasting solution to ensure this vital resource for families continues to flourish. PIPSC will continue to fight for the well being of existing centres and also advocate for the creation of new workplace childcare centres.