Although daycare facilities at the University of Regina have been facing questions of increasing their services to include evening care, those in charge say it probably won't be happening.|
As more students are holding part-time and even full-time jobs in order to support themselves as well as attend university, evening classes continue to be important to may of them. For users of the U of R's daycare, this means an evening program would be very helpful.
"Lots of classes are only at night," comments Denise Smullin, a third year Psychology student and single parent. Her daughter attended the daycare for three years.
"I would have been all for it (evening care)."
"It'd be easier than trying to find other baby-sitters at night," agrees Leanne Forgie. "The kids already know the environment."
Forgie's son is enrolled at the Wascana Daycare Co-Operative. Her parents used to babysit him while she took night classes.
She recently completed her degree in Administration at the U of R, and presently serves on the daycare's board of directors.
"There is a real need for the daycare. It's always full," she says.
Marge MacKenzie, the Wascana daycare's director confirms this. |
"There is a wait list. It can be a year or more before we have space for a child."
Initially intended as a university daycare, the Wascana Daycare Co-Operative began as an initiative of the University of Regina Students' Union and the Employee Association in 1975. Forty-five children attend the daycare, ranging in age from eighteen months to six years.
Mackenzie estimates that nearly 85% of the daycare's users are students, and a number of them are single parents.
"[Evening childcare] is not something we're closed-minded to," says MacKenzie. "It was talked about from time to time, but I don't get people asking me about it anymore."
There are several considerations to be taken into account before implementing a nighttime childcare facility.
Forgie notes the distance of student parking lots from the daycare, which is located just outside SIFC, on the west side of campus. She mentions a possible concern about security when leaving a night facility with a small child.
As well, a new staff would be necessary, says MacKenzie. At present, the daycare is open from 7:30
|AM to 5:30 PM, Monday to Friday. Having nighttime care would extend the days to 15 hours.|
There are currently nine staff members at the Wascana Daycare. All are required to have completed at least one year of the SIAST Early Childhood Development program. As well, each parent must do an hour of work (doing dishes, scrubbing toys) at the co-operative every week.
Parents pay a flat monthly rate of $410 to $460 for the service. Students and low-income parents receive a government subsidy. In addition to these fees, the university and Students' Union both provide the daycare with financial assistance.
Stacey Ironside, a fourth year Sociology major and a single mother who uses the daycare, questions the idea of an evening childcare facility.
"I would want my child home by bedtime. I arrange my schedule around his, not the other way around," she says.
"But there are parents who work at restaurants and stuff. I'm sure they would be interested."
Forgie agrees: "A lot of people are working. I know that many parents would use it."
The AWASIS Daycare, which shares a building with the Wascana Daycare, was not available for comment at press time.