East York Day Care Fears COVID-19 Closure Is Possible


An East York daycare center is concerned that it will not survive the COVID-19 pandemic, putting 160 children out of care.

The owners of the Blossoming Minds Learning Center on Danforth Avenue said on Monday that they feared they could not cover the rent next month.

The center has been temporarily closed since March due to the new coronavirus crisis, and co-owner Maggie Moser is concerned that it may become permanent.

“We are certainly worried,” Moser told CTV News Toronto.

According to Moser, their landlord has not signed up for the government’s rent subsidy program, which would see the government collect 50% of the rent and the remaining half would be split equally between the landlord and the tenant.

“It would help, but no, we still have fixed costs, almost $ 18,000 after the rent subsidy,” said Moser.

Additionally, Moser said she was concerned that even if the facility could reopen, she did not know how many children would be allowed in the room at one time.

Sarah Masterson sends her three-year-old daughter Nicole to the center and said losing the facility would be devastating for many parents in the area.

“Personally, I could not go back to work because I would not have room for my child,” she said.

Masterson said she has been on child care waiting lists for three years without even having to call back.

“There is a lot of competition for child care spaces in this neighborhood,” she said.

Unbeknownst to his employer, Austin Slyford-McGrath, who works at the establishment, opened a GoFundMe page to raise funds and prevent the center from closing permanently.

“The time we are, it is very necessary and I am worried about my work because I work here. Everyone is worried about their work, so I put him there to help with the repair funds, “he said.

Co-owner Krista Dahlgren said “the main problem right now” is that their establishment is a private center in Toronto and they receive no operating funding from the city.

“This is the funding the province sends to municipalities for child care, but municipalities decide who will benefit,” said Dahlgren.

The Association of Daycare Operators has stated that the city of Toronto would donate money only to non-profit organizations, when, for example in Simcoe County, the municipality transfers the grant to non-profit establishments and for profit, and continues to fund the same during the closure of COVID-19.

Mayor John Tory said the issue of child care funding is on the city’s agenda.

“I can say that this is something that we are going to have to look into,” he said on Monday. “We were chatting this morning. One of the most important comments beyond public transportation to the successful reopening of the city on a large scale is going to be the availability of child care for the children of those who have to go to work, either essential workers or those who return to their jobs. “


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