Update: Ryerson’s Gerrard Resource Centre emergency child-care services end in May

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By Madison Wong

Ryerson University’s Gerrard Resource Centre (GRC) has secured enough money to continue operating its emergency child-care services until the end of May 2019.

Last year, the GRC learned that their emergency child-care services would be defunded by the end of 2018 as a result of the City of Toronto’s new EarlyON Child and Families (EarlyON) program.

Under the EarlyON regulations, funding from the city is prohibited from being used towards emergency child-care.

The Eye previously reported that the GRC had raised enough money to allow them to operate into the first seven weeks of 2019.

However, Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said the GRC has now received enough funding to run until the end of May.

Emergency child-care services have allowed for parents and caregivers to drop off their children when unexpected situations arise and they cannot find alternative care.

The money was raised from a combination of parent donations and contributions from last year’s United Way donor designation program.

“I would say that we are very pleased with the response from United Way and from parents. We continue to be optimistic,” said Lachemi.

Like the president, Catherine Moher, manager of the GRC, is also content with the money that has been raised.

“I’m optimistic that we can get enough for the whole year. But at this point, we can for sure run until the end of May. And as the year goes by, I’ll be seeking other sources of funding to keep it going,” said Moher.

Drop-in programs are available at both of the GRC’s locations at St. Simon’s-the-Apostle Church and on campus at 40 Gould St. The emergency services, however, are only offered at the church located on Bloor St. E.

Moher said it has been tricky keeping the EarlyON program separate from their emergency child-care program. This is because of the shared space at the church and the additional administrative tasks.

“But if the parents are getting the service, that’s all I really care about,” said Moher.

“[We’re] trying to keep it as seamless as possible for the parents. Easy for them to access, barrier-free and as accessible as possible,” she said.

As for the future of the GRC, Moher said she hopes to seek out a more stable source of income rather than continuing to seek donations.

“I do want to keep it going and looking to other foundations and charitable organizations to see if they would commit larger sums of funding,” she said.

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