Beaumont’s history with Child Care Services
Beaumont has been offering child care and early learning for 38 years. The program was established in 1980, with a desire to provide child care in a community that values the support of families, and in response to the lack of meaningful alternatives for parents.
Beaumont currently provides a 20% subsidy of the gross costs, with the remaining 80% funded through fees and grants.
Beaumont’s child care model consists of two programs: The Early Learning Child Care Center (ELCC) and the After-School care program (SAS), which have separate budgets. Together, the programs have room for 138 children (approx. 70 families), and any citizen of Beaumont can sign up, but capacity constraints limit entrants each year.
The program has access to indoor and outdoor facilities, including 3 parks, which are run by Beaumont. Program fees increase in the summer months as children take part in more extra-curricular activities, such as field trips outside of Beaumont.
The staff hired by Beaumont’s child care program are highly trained and committed professionals. Beaumont requires that the employees working directly with children have a Level III certification (most daycare centers only require Level I).
Why is Beaumont assessing the sustainability of the program?
Beaumont is reviewing its Child Care Services delivery model for a number of reasons.
Beaumont is seeking to answer questions about the financial sustainability; options for expansion; and options for partnership in the delivery of child cares services in Beaumont. It is also seeking an answer to the question:
“What is the level of support from the citizens of Beaumont for a program which the majority of citizens subsidize through their taxes but from which only a minority can benefit?”
To answer this question, Beaumont is examining all meaningful options including delivering the program in partnership with other providers, expanding the program through partnership(s), options for cost recovery, and for transitioning to other providers entirely.
The primary driver of the program review is to provide certainty to the families and staff of Beaumont in the delivery of child care services.
How is Beaumont reviewing the program?
Who is Grant Thornton?
Why Grant Thornton?
What is Grant Thornton assessing?
How is Grant Thornton conducting the review?
Grant Thornton conducted an independent review of the current program through a structured analysis consisting of:
• Review of the historical documentation surrounding the Child Care Services in Beaumont.
• A series of interviews with Beaumont employees directly connected to the delivery of Child Care Services for Beaumont, and senior employees who are key decision-makers with respect to the operations and the future of the Child Care Services.
• A review engaging the private child care providers in Beaumont.
• A tailored jurisdictional scan looking at the limited number of municipally delivered or funded Child Care Services in Alberta. The communities included were Jasper, Drayton Valley, and Pincher Creek.
Grant Thornton will be utilizing a similar structured approach for the second phase of the review. They will be conducting Round Tables, focus groups, surveys, individual interviews, and having conversations with other current and possible future providers of child care services in the Beaumont area.
What are the ways forward being considered?
Where are we in the process?
- In October of 2018, Grant Thornton presented their recommendations (“Phase One”) to Council and the public. Council selected four options for further consideration and reporting (given above under “What ways forward are being considered?”)
- In December of 2018, Grant Thornton began their research into the four options chosen by Council, and the work of connecting with stakeholders for feedback;
- In January of 2019 the first round of conversations, with the staff of the Child Care program was held;
- In April of 2019 the community survey was open for responses, and will collect responses until April 26, 2019;
- In April and May of 2019 parents of children in the City childcare program are being invited to participate in a series of 3 round-table focus sessions.
Hasn’t the decision already been made?
No. The relationship between quality child care services, and the economic health of a community, is well-documented. Beaumont has committed to arrive at a way forward that most effectively balances the experience and well-being of our families, the resources of Beaumont, and the values of the greater community. Further, as a professional services organization under contract to Beaumont, Grant Thornton LLP has a fiduciary duty to deliver a report that is unbiased, independent, and comprehensive, within the scope of their engagement.
No decision will be made until all planned input has been collected, and the final report has been considered by Council.
When will the public be notified of the findings?
Where can the public access information?
As a resident and family who currently uses Beaumont’s Child Care Services, how might I be impacted?
How can I voice my opinion?