Concordia daycare a safe spot for tots and a relief for studying parents
Being a university student can be tricky on its own, and it’s even more of a challenge for those who have kids. Concordia University is trying to lighten that load a little with a new program aimed at class-goers with families at home.
“I studied before without having a kid and I guess one difference is I can’t just pick up my homework or pick up my studio any time that I want to,” said student Merlin Hentizman Hope. “I have to actually plan.”
The recently opened daycare gives those students a chance to leave their little ones in a safe place that’s close to their studies. That’s well appreciated for student/mom Anna Leduc.
“It’s just peace of mind that if something were to go wrong because she’s so young that I can get up and I can leave class and come here,” she said. “I can be here within two or three minutes.”
The idea for the daycare came from Concordia students, said Dean of Students Andrew Woodall.
“The Concordia Student Union did everything here,” he said. “It was their idea, the found the funding for it, they came to the university and asked if we had space.”
Parents pay $35.00 a day for one of the 52 spots in the daycare, but can declare that on their taxes. For some, the cost can be brought down to as low as $9.00 a day, with kids enrolled full or part time.
“I do have some parents that have classes two days a week and then the third of the week they leave open for homework,” said daycare manager Angela Meo.
Leduc said the daycare is crucial to being able to continue her education.
“I probably would have not come back to school until September (without it),” she said.
She’s not alone. Meo pointed out that with Canada’s workforce changing rapidly, many people are returning to school to prepare for a career change or to update their skills after they’ve started a family.
“Before, it was quite popular to do you undergraduate degree and then have children or try to do that before you have children, but the demographic of students is changing so much that of course their needs change along with that,” she said.