Beaumont has commissioned Grant Thornton LLP to provide an independent review the Child Care Services (CCS) currently delivered by the municipality. The purpose of Phase One of the review was to illuminate the context and possible next steps for Council in creating certainty for parents and employees of the program. The second phase of the engagement will be for Grant Thornton to assess the possible alternatives to the current model, providing Beaumont Council with a framework detailing the potential options, the costs and benefits, and feasibility of each option for the future.
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Beaumont has been offering child care and early learning for 38 years. The program was established in 1980, with a desire to provide child care in a community that values the support of families, and in response to the lack of meaningful alternatives for parents.
Beaumont currently provides a 20% subsidy of the gross costs, with the remaining 80% funded through fees and grants.
Beaumont’s child care model consists of two programs: The Early Learning Child Care Center (ELCC) and the After-School care program (SAS), which have separate budgets. Together, the programs have room for 138 children (approx. 70 families), and any citizen of Beaumont can sign up, but capacity constraints limit entrants each year.
The program has access to indoor and outdoor facilities, including 3 parks, which are run by Beaumont. Program fees increase in the summer months as children take part in more extra-curricular activities, such as field trips outside of Beaumont.
The staff hired by Beaumont’s child care program are highly trained and committed professionals. Beaumont requires that the employees working directly with children have a Level III certification (most daycare centers only require Level I).
Beaumont is reviewing its Child Care Services delivery model for a number of reasons.
Beaumont is seeking to answer questions about financial sustainability; options for expansion; and options for partnership in the delivery of child care services in Beaumont. It is also seeking an answer to the question:
“What is the level of support from the citizens of Beaumont for a program which the majority of citizens subsidize through their taxes but from which only a minority can benefit?”
To answer this question, Beaumont is examining all meaningful options including delivering the program in partnership with other providers, expanding the program through partnership(s), options for cost recovery, and for transitioning to other providers entirely.
The primary driver of the program review is to provide certainty to the families and staff of Beaumont in the delivery of child care services.
Grant Thornton is one of the world’s leading independent consulting and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton has a long, distinguished history of providing advisory services to municipal clients in Alberta, and around the world. For more information on the Grant Thornton and their advisory practice, please visit www.grantthornton.ca
In addition to their credentials and experience, Grant Thornton has a strong understanding of the unique challenges facing Beaumont at this juncture, including the need to satisfy the concerns of residents and employees in a moment of significant change, with the associated social, economic and political ramifications.
In a first phase, Grant Thornton performed an independent review of both CCS programs to provide Council with information to enable further decision-making. The findings were presented to Council in October 2018 (click here to review report). Phase Two will commence in December of 2018 with the objective of providing Beaumont’s Council with alternatives to move forward. Each alternative will take into consideration the impact on the community and stakeholders, the costs and benefits, and the subsequent implications for families and staff.
Grant Thornton conducted an independent review of the current program through a structured analysis consisting of:
Grant Thornton will be utilizing a similar structured approach for the second phase of the review. They will be conducting Round Tables, focus groups, surveys, individual interviews, and having conversations with other current and possible future providers of child care services in the Beaumont area.
Based on the Phase One report (click here to review report), Beaumont requested a deeper review of four options on how to move forward, including:
No. The relationship between quality child care services and the economic health of a community is well-documented. Beaumont has committed to arriving at a way forward that most effectively balances the experience and well-being of our families, the resources of Beaumont, and the values of the greater community. Further, as a professional services organization under contract to Beaumont, Grant Thornton LLP has a fiduciary duty to deliver a report that is unbiased, independent, and comprehensive, within the scope of their engagement.
No decision will be made until all planned input has been collected, and the final report has been considered by Council.
Grant Thornton is expected to provide Beaumont Council with a comprehensive final report by the Summer of 2019.
Information will continue to be updated on this website as it becomes available to Beaumont. Grant Thornton will facilitate a series of events engaging stakeholders in the information-gathering phase. Also, updates can be requested by contacting Grant Thornton LLP through firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main consideration in any future direction will be the impact on current stakeholders; primarily families and employees. Any recommendation provided by Grant Thornton will include further recommendations to provide the highest feasible level of transparency, stability, and confidence, for the community.
On behalf of Beaumont, Grant Thornton will be sending out surveys, conducting roundtables, and focus groups to ensure the perspectives of all Beaumont residents are considered. Also, updates can be requested by contacting Grant Thornton LLP through email@example.com.