By: Brad Fougere
New to the city and poised to start dental hygiene at Algonquin, a teary phone call to a Centrepointe day care centre clinched a spot for Tammy Fortier’s three-year-old daughter, Ella.
Fortier, 35, had been on the city run waitlist of daycare providers hoping for a spot in the college’s centre. However, in August she was told there were 170 people ahead of her.
Panicked, she called Centrepointe with little hope. Her emotional plea worked.
“I’m 170th on a list; what are my chances of getting in here?” Fortier asked the Algonquin daycare centre. Told that the chances were small she secured her spot at Centrepointe with the heartfelt plea.
“I’m a single mom in a busy program and I’m new to the area and don’t know anybody,” she said.
The first-year student hopes that a new club she founded will help single parents in a similar situation. The Single Parent Network Club was founded prior to reading week with the premise of meeting other parents and creating relationships leading to childcare support.
“It’s not worth working in the evenings or on the weekend because you have to pay for a babysitter.”
“I work on campus right now,” she said, of her food service position at the Observatory. “It’s really the only work I can do.” The scarcity of care options and the associated costs prevent off-campus work. Her hope is that meeting other single parents through the club will change that. Networking with single parents could allow for others to barter time.
“I thought that there has to be other people in my situation who can get together to help each other,” she said.
Faris Lehn, clubs and communitites coordinator for the SA, said his organization loves the idea.
The SA hopes the club can grow and carry on long past Fortier’s graduation.
The SA offers clubs up to $1,000 a year for approved marketing ideas, promotional printing and room rental. That figure has doubled this year. Additionally, they will provide for $100 to cover the costs of food and beverages.
The first meeting of the Single Parent Network Club will be March 9 from 9 a.m. until noon in room P213A. Further details are available from Tammy Fortier at firstname.lastname@example.org