Child Care Needs 2007 - SD&G
The Manufacturing committee of SD&G in 2001 identified numerous employment barriers in their sector of the economy. One of them was 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 specifically in their attempts to hire and retain employees.
The findings when workers and/or potential workers were interviewed at that time, suggested that Child Care during other than day shift hours was not really an issue. The research suggested that lifestyle of workers was the main issue keeping employers from attracting the additional workers they required. Workers preferred to work day shift for family or personal reasons and used the child care issue as a diversion tactic when offered employment that required shift work. Numerous workers suggested that with both parents in the workforce in most cases, it would mean that their family life would not be what they wanted it to be.
After discussion, all parties (in 2001) agreed that the Child Care issue might not be the main issue affecting recruitment.
The Eastern Ontario Training Board after a gap of six years felt that Child Care availability needed to be updated and retained H. Motard and Associates, a consulting firm to re-examine this issue in 2007 with a focus on determining the need to have licensed 24/7-Day Care Services.
- To update research completed in 2001 that suggested that Child Care facilities met the required needs of the SD&G workforce
- To determine if extended Child Care facilities still meet the needs of Workers in our changing economy
- To determine if available Child Care facilities meet Employer needs in their recruiting and retention of workers
- To examine the need to have 24/7 hours licensed Day Care Facilities.
- Review & analyze existing research and develop a survey document to determine Child Care Needs.
- Survey existing registered day care providers in order to determine average fill rate as well as their hours of operation.
- Survey a sample of employers in the following sectors (Manufacturing, Retail, Call Centers, Service Sector & Health Care) & add a special focus one employers who employ workers that are required to work shifts.
- Survey employed workers to determine if day care facilities are meeting their needs.
- Analyze collected data confirm and validate findings by meeting with a number of employers involved in the initial research.
- Complete a report highlighting the research findings and present it to the Eastern Ontario Training Board (EOTB).
The Consultants developed and validated a survey that was then distributed to employers in the Manufacturing, Retail, Call Centers and Health Care Providers and a special focus was given to employers who operated a shift work environment and was expanded to include.
The approach to obtaining the information was to use e-mail, regular mail, telephone follow-ups, net working as well as personal interviews.
What we found:
- One employer who considered this a significant issue surveyed nine hundred employees. After many reminders, this employer only received 20 completed survey questionnaires and in most cases the employees suggested that they had encountered only temporary child care issues and that for the most part the availability of child care was not an ongoing problem.
- Thirty-two employers were surveyed, only seventeen considered this issue important and responded. The remainder did not react to follow-up attempts by the consultants in order to address the issue.
- A new private non-denominational & not for profit organization has secured a project coordinator to apply for a license to open a 24/7 day care operation with a proposed opening date of January 2008. The center will provide space for 56 children from infancy to 12 years old and will be known as "Cornwall Compassion Centre Inc.", an arms length entity of the Harvest Christian Fellowship Church and Pastor Roy Stephenson.
- Care for infants and toddlers are considered a major issue according to SD&G Social Services.
- Existing storefront & private day care providers for the most part do not provide extended day care hours services.
- There is a limited need for 24/7-day care services based on feedback from employers who bothered participating in the survey and input from SD&G Social Services to date. That is somewhat supported by such employer comments as "some difficulty in recruiting, a number of retention issues and absenteeism".
- The services offered by the City of Cornwall and area Municipalities plus private providers meet some or most of the needs of the present work force with exception in some cases such as the care for infants and toddlers and of course non-existing 24/7 child care services that would meet the needs of a few.
- Four employers with a workforce in excess of 2400 workers have identified the lack of extended day care along with City Social Services as a major issue but curiously enough, survey of workers does not support their position. That is very similar to how employees reacted when surveyed back in 2001, lending credibility again to the 2001 findings that Child Care is not the main issue when analyzing 24/7 needs but that lifestyles and family life are the main issues facing recruiting and retention efforts.
- Two of the four employers who have identified Day Care as a major problem for recruitment and retention are lending their support to the proposed 24/7-day care application mentioned earlier in this document and the consultants have contacted the two other major employers to see whether they would consider supporting that application.
- The findings suggest that this is an issue of some concern and the consultants recommend that the Local Board consider supporting the application being submitted by the not for profit organization.
- This report will be shared with community partners as well as employer groups. It will also be added to the ongoing community consultations that the Local completes on an ongoing basis as part of the Trends, Opportunities and Priorities process that results in an annual report published at the beginning of each calendar year.