No plans to reopen After-hours Childcare

A new program would have to be a joint effort between University, AMS and SGPS, Radcliffe says

Jennifer Stacey, MA ’08, used the After-hours Childcare service before its closure in 2005.
Jennifer Stacey, MA ’08, used the After-hours Childcare service before its closure in 2005.
Journal File Photo

The AMS has no plans to bring back the After-hours Childcare service incoming AMS President Talia Radcliffe said.

Radcliffe said the AMS will discuss any revival of the childcare service during the summer with both the Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS) and the University.  

“Essentially, I have spoken briefly with Jeff Welsh, incoming SGPS president, about talking about after-hours childcare,” she said.

The service was cancelled in 2005 following a decision by the AMS Board of Directors. Radcliffe said the decision was made based on the desire to better serve the student body.

“From where it stands on our end, there are two reasons we got rid of it as an AMS service,” she said. “First, approximately 10 out of 14,000 students at a time were using the service. Second, it was losing money at the time.”

After-hours Childcare lost $1,775.29 in 2004-05, up from $6,847.86 in 2003-04.

Radcliffe added that the service wasn’t creating job opportunities for students because staff were required to have training in early childhood education.

Due to the low number of students using the service, the AMS would be involved only as a partner in a new initiative, she said.

“I think the prime reason it closed was the fact it wasn’t used by many undergrad students,” she said. “A different type of [AMS] participation would be more appropriate.”

Radcliffe said she thinks any after-hours childcare program should be formed with equal participation from the University and the SGPS.

“We would be looking at a role of participation instead of being the prime co-ordinators,” she said.

Although only a few students were using the service, Radcliffe said, the AMS sees after-hours childcare as necessary.

“We recognize it as a need for undergraduate students, even if not many use it.” Radcliffe said Queen’s students don’t have many options for childcare. “The current Queen’s daycare doesn’t have enough room for faculty children,” she said. “I believe it’s a three-year waiting list.”

Eileen Beauregard, executive director of Queen’s Daycare, said it’s impossible to give an exact waiting time because it depends on age and priority of the child.

“I do tell parents that most people wait at least a year to get in,” she said. “It’s possible they may never get in.”

At this point, Radcliffe said, there are several options to consider.

“If someone else were to establish a service on campus, we would potentially bring in an opt-out fee to referendum,” she said.

“Perhaps we will be participating with the University in something in the Queen’s Centre. There are a variety of options.”

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