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?

Beaumont has commissioned Grant Thornton LLP to provide an independent review the Child Care Services (CCS) currently delivered by the municipality. The purpose of Phase One of the review was to illuminate the context and possible next steps for Council in creating certainty for parents and employees of the program.The second phase of the engagement will be for Grant Thornton to assess the possible alternatives to the current model, providing Beaumont Council with a framework detailing the potential options, the costs and benefits, and feasibility of each option for the future.

Who is Grant Thornton?

Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading independent consulting and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton has a long, distinguished history of providing advisory services to municipal clients in Alberta, and around the world. For more information on the Grant Thornton and their advisory practice, please visit www.grantthornton.ca

Why Grant Thornton?

In addition to their credentials and experience, Grant Thornton has a strong understanding of the unique challenges facing Beaumont at this juncture, including the need to satisfy the concerns of residents and employees in a moment of significant change, with the associated social, economic and political ramifications.

What is Grant Thornton assessing?

In a first phase, Grant Thornton performed an independent review of both CCS programs to provide Council with information to enable further decision-making. The findings were presented to Council in October, 2018 (click here to review report). Phase Two will commence in December of 2018 with the objective of providing Beaumont’s Council with alternatives to move forward. Each alternative will take into consideration the impact to the community and stakeholders, the costs and benefits, and the subsequent implications for families and staff.

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?

Based on the Phase One report (click here to review report), Beaumont requested a deeper review of four options on how to move forward, including:
• Running the program as is, but using a cost-recovery model;
• Expanding the program in partnership with one or more other providers;
• A highly structured transition in partnership with one or more other providers, which would see Beaumont step away from direct delivery; or,
• An exit from the program.

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?

Grant Thornton is expected to provide Beaumont Council with a comprehensive final report by the summer of 2019.

Where can the public access information?

Information will continue to be updated on this website as it becomes available to Beaumont. Grant Thornton will facilitate a series of events engaging stakeholders in the information-gathering phase. Also, updates can be requested by contacting Grant Thornton LLP through clemens.rettich@ca.gt.com.

As a resident and family who currently uses Beaumont’s Child Care Services, how might I be impacted?

The main consideration in any future direction will be the impact on current stakeholders; primarily families and employees. Any recommendation provided by Grant Thornton will include with further recommendations to provide the highest feasible level of transparency, stability, and confidence, for the community.

How can I voice my opinion?

On behalf of Beaumont, Grant Thornton will be sending out surveys, conducting roundtables, and focus groups to ensure the perspectives of all Beaumont residents are considered. Also, updates can be requested by contacting Grant Thornton LLP through clemens.rettich@ca.gt.com.