SDG Child Care Needs Research
December 17, 2001
The Manufacturing committee of SD&G has recently identified numerous employment barriers in their sector of the economy. One of them is Day Care service for 24/7 workers. Day Care service was an issue that needed to be addressed in order to help employers of the manufacturing sector in their attempts to hire and retain employees.
The Eastern Ontario Training Board in cooperation with St. Lawrence College and Human Resources Development Canada, supported by the employers, retained a consultant to do preliminary research on this issue.
In examining the issue, the research report was to include a proposal for an Early Years Challenge Fund depending on the needs identified through the gathering of information. The main objective was to examine the need to have licensed 24/7-Day Care Services.
The EOTB Consultant met with all of the members of MECCA (manufacturing committee) and developed a survey based on their input. The committee, which included a City of Cornwall Day Care manager, was struck and it met 4 times to provide advice and guidance. The survey was then distributed to all employers in manufacturing sector.
The consultant even went to Ottawa to visit 24/7 Day Care services to see how they operate and how well utilized they are. She also met face to face with numerous managers and HR managers of various businesses that operate 24/7. The results were much different than expected:
- Employers may consider lack of 24/7 day care as a major impediment to recruiting and retaining workers ~ but workers do not see day care as a major issue based on survey findings.
- Workers suggest that private day care and City services seem to be adequate.
- Most employers were not even interested in having their employees complete the survey.
- Numerous employers did not even return the consultant's numerous phone calls in order to address the issue.
- A local private and licensed day care provider is seriously looking at extended day care services but is still in the research stage.
- Some research is still ongoing.
After getting the final report from the consultant and evaluating the findings, it is the opinion of this Training Board that:
- There is very little need for 24/7-day care services based on research to date.
- The services offered by the present City services and private providers meet the needs of this work force.
- Day Care may be an impediment to hiring and retaining workers but it is only a reflection of the needs of a minority of potential workers.
- The demand, it seems, is just not there for a 24/7-Day Care service.
- We recommend to St. Lawrence College that they review their position on the development of such a center based on these findings.
- That this issue be re-visited should numerous employers or workers react to this document, suggesting that these findings are not totally accurate.
This Training Board, in cooperation with its community partners and the employers involved in the manufacturing sector, felt that it was essential to address this issue and find ways of resolving it if it was indeed a major impediment to worker recruitment or retention.
The findings suggest that this is not an issue of major concern but one that is only on the periphery of the multitude of symptoms that sometimes reflect other issues such as:
- The lack of interest by numerous workers in shift work, especially if they have a family
- Transportation issues
- Inconvenience of adjusting life to shift work
- Limited incentives associated with shift work pay and benefits
- Perceived costs associated with day care versus wages paid in the sector
For more information, please contact the Executive Director - email@example.com or call us at 613.932.0210.