You might want to make some backup plans for your child’s summer.
New laws that came into effect last August barred all Ontario summer camps from accepting children under four unless they hold a daycare license. That means 43 day camps across the province can no longer take in those kids.
The legislation was introduced to provide more safeguards for young children in these kinds of environments, but some parents have been caught off guard.
“Everyone is scrambling,” Toronto mother-of-two Adi Henya told CTV News. “I think everyone is concerned that they’re going to have nothing to do with their children this summer.”
Because kids now have to be four years old just to enter summer camps, the ones with birthdays later in the year who start kindergarten in September won’t qualify. Additionally, for some families, it can also mean siblings will be separated.
For its part, the Ontario Camps Association says it is in talks with provincial officials in an attempt to reach a resolution for before camp season ramps up. But there is no guarantee that they will for the time being.
— OCACamps (@OCACamps) February 1, 2016
And if you’re wondering why the camps don’t just get daycare licenses, some have been trying. One administrator complained that he’s been finding it difficult to find an Early Childhood Educator with at least two years of experience who is willing to take a two-month job.
So for now, it looks like you might have to change your plans this year. Or at least call the camp where your kids are currently enrolled, and confirm if they still qualify.