Daycare managers blew it
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | June 21, 2018|
Although it appeared on Wednesday that a deal had been struck to keep the Minden day care open, that does not excuse the board and out-of-town staff of the Ontario Early Years Centre Haliburton Victoria Brock (OEYC HVB) for badly handling this situation.
The fact parents only received a week’s notice that their child’s daycare could be closing in Minden is deplorable.
The fact the centre’s staff have been twisting in the wind for months now is equally excruciating.
It was also avoidable.
Maybe not the possible closure, but this week’s hysteria.
The Highlander knew as far back as December of last year that the centre, at 16 Prentice St. Minden, was in trouble.
Anonymous sources reached out to us to say that they’d heard the centre was closing at the end of March 2018.
However, there was also talk of an interested party possibly taking it over. The news, however, was very much kept under lock and key.
We then got word near the end of March that if the centre were to close, it would now be on June 22. However, talks were continuing with the other provider in hopes of there being no disruption.
We reached out to executive director Pippa Stephenson around then. We implored her and the board to open up to the paper and be completely transparent with us, for the sake of not only the staff of the centre, but the parents of children who attended. In an off-the-record conversation, I personally told Stephenson that Minden was a resilient community. I said they would accept the closure if there was no alternative. However, I also said they would only do so if the OEYC HVB was transparent with the community. Better to know what’s coming than be completely blindsided, I argued.
Instead, Stephenson reluctantly issued a statement that the day care was still operating as normal. She went on to say, “we’re in the process of transitioning the child care to new management ... and as soon as we are able ... we’d like to make an announcement in the community. And, we’d certainly be happy to share with you at that time or even prior to the announcement, because we’d like it to get out, but we’re just in the midst of the process right now, so we have nothing to share yet.”
What she and her board should have “shared” was that in the event new management could not be found, parents, staff and the community should prepare themselves for an end of June closure. She and the board chose not to do that. And that is why the community outrage unfolded this week.
Further, it was the County of Haliburton that tweeted yesterday about a possible solution to the crisis, not the OEYC HVB.
This lack of transparency shows an utter disregard for the centre’s staff and parents and has put immeasurable stress on them with school holidays just around the corner
Lisa Gervais is the editor for The Highlander.