YMCA set to run Western Day Care
By Marshall Bellamy
TOLD YOU - NO BIKER GANGS ALLOWED." Western Day Care
staff member Lori Corrigan holds future Western student
Samuel as he admires the old-time bicycles of his friends.
Last week the 33 employees at Western Day Care were given
termination notices after the university decided it would no
longer be the operator of the new day care building currently
under construction on Western Road.
The decision comes after the YMCA was chosen as the operator
of the new $2.7-million day care facility beside Perth Hall,
confirmed Susan Grindrod, associate VP-student housing and
According to Western Day Care executive director Jill Arthur,
the current staff waited for new contracts until April, when
Western administration sat down with them for negotiations.
During this meeting, administration officials said the day
care did not meet certain conditions, Arthur added.
“They basically said ‘sorry about your luck,’” she
explained. “They said they made a deal with the Y and
it didn’t include us.”
Grindrod admitted there was a provision stating Western Day
Care staff would be employed by any new operator chosen to
administer the new day care building, but the offer was rescinded
because the costs for the staff’s wages could not be
“It’s an important decision — we wanted
the best organization and the best package,” Grindrod
said. “The evaluation team was very taken by the Y.”
Shaun Elliott, executive director for the London YMCA, stated
the Western Day Care workers receive 30 per cent more in wages
than YMCA child care employees, which provided the Western
administration an incentive for choosing the YMCA over Western
“Unfortunately we were unable to give [current employees
of] Western Day Care any positions,” he said, citing
the comparably high wages could not be offered by the YMCA.
“We wanted an operator to run the day care and replenish
capital,” Grindrod said, noting the YMCA demonstrated
an ability to keep the building up to speed as per the university’s
Grindrod pointed out the selection process was based on three
criteria: programming, financing and staffing. “The Y
was successful on all fronts,” she added.
“In the fall  we were selected by the evaluation
committee, and as I was told they chose us unanimously,” Elliott
Arthur said the construction of the new day care facility
came in light of an agreement between administration and the
faculty association to add 50 new day care spots.
Elliott explained that while the 150 current spots are available
for faculty, staff and students at Western, priority will be
given to faculty members for the additional 50 places. “The
priority is given to us by the university,” he said,
adding the program will begin on Sept. 7.
“We’re looking at space and the possibility of
moving,” Arthur explained, adding Western Day Care’s
lease for its current building lasts until the end of September.