BROCKTON – Parents who have children at the Brockton Child Care Centre will see a modest seasonal increase in fees, but they won’t have to worry about making sure their little ones have their sunscreen with them.
An amendment to the fees and charges bylaw will see a sunscreen fee added – $10 per season for children who attend four or five days per week, and $8 for children who attend two or three days per week.
Sharon Bross, child care centre supervisor, explained in her report that ministry regulations stipulate “outdoor time” prior to which teachers would have to apply sunscreen on the children. Prior to COVID, this meant 78 bottles of sunscreen. Teachers would have to verify expiry dates make sure each child received their own.
Staff began looking at bulk purchasing sunscreen to streamline the process. Sunscreen wasn’t on the radar during 2020 when there were restrictions on numbers. This year, restrictions on numbers allowed in the centre have been lifted, and there’s the potential for 95 children while still following distancing protocols – that’s 95 bottles of sunscreen to disinfect, check expiry dates on, maintain Safety Data Sheets on, and look after.
Children with sensitivities to certain products would still have to bring their own, but generally, the proposed change would eliminate extra work for staff, and bother for parents.
Councillor Steve Adams wondered why this matter hadn’t been discussed at the committee level, but said it made sense and could end up saving parents money.
Coun. Tim Elphick said he supported the basic premise, but would prefer to see the extra cost included in the basic fee. Deputy Mayor Dan Gieruszak, too, was against having the extra fee tacked on.
However, Bross told council the report’s recommendation is in keeping with what’s done at other daycares, especially the larger ones.
Treasurer Trish Serratore said absorbing the cost of the sunscreen this season would deplete daycare reserves.
Council approved the recommendation, with a bit of fine-tuning, such as defining “season.”
The matter will be revisited at budget time.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times