Salt Spring daycare to close its doors due to ‘combined staffing and housing crisis’

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Tree Frog Daycare is the latest entity to be affected by Salt Spring Island’s labour shortage, announcing it will be closing its doors indefinitely due to a lack of staff.

The board of the Fulford Harbour Child Care Society stated Monday that it is “with great sadness” they announce the closure of the daycare indefinitely after Nov. 30. Tree Frog is one of a range of businesses affected by a combined labour and housing shortage, which has led to reduced hours, more overtime for existing staff and even some businesses closing up shop on the island. 

“There are inadequate words to express our unhappiness at having to make this announcement, but the reality of the combined staffing and housing crisis on our island is one we are all familiar with,” the statement read.

The daycare hasn’t been able to secure enough staff to maintain their operation. 

While the closure is imminent, the board added they hope operations can resume in the future. The society is asking the community for leads on qualified early childhood education staff and in particular staff with infant and toddler certification. The society can be reached at treefrogdaycare@shaw.ca

The board thanked the families, staff and community for their support over the past 28 years.

“It has been our very great honour to provide care and education for the youngest members of our community and their families during this time,” the board stated.

In addition to childcare, other essential services on Salt Spring are being affected by the housing shortage. The pool is short-staffed following a number of senior employees being recruited to other facilities in the region Dan Ovington, manager of parks and recreation for the Capital Regional District confirmed last week. 

On Oct. 21, the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation stated housing shortages are “hampering the hospital’s ability to both recruit new staff and also retain existing staff,” noting that the entire hospital operation is impacted by the resulting shortages. The foundation implored property owners to list available housing for hospital staff to access on an online portal

As well, some Salt Spring restaurants have recently reduced their opening hours and days due to lack of staff and the need to give employees time off.

For more on this story, see the Nov. 3 issue of the Driftwood newspaper. 

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