CSU Daycare and Nursery Set to Open This Fall
New Initiative Provides Space for Student Parents on Campus
After further research was done and a potential plan for the daycare and nursery was created, the CSU asked students in a bi-election if they believed that the daycare and nursery should be a priority. The majority of the students replied yes.
This prompted Robert Henri, the CSU’s General Manager, to go forward with the project. After working on it for over a year, Henri is finally seeing the project come to life.
“Students need the space. We will try to be as flexible as we can for students, which is not always the case with different daycares,” explained Henri.
The CSU Daycare and Nursery will be more beneficial than the Quebec government subsidized daycares and childcare centers and will be able to meet student parents’ needs compared to the daycares offered around campus.
Angela Meo, the director of the daycare, explains that they will offer typical hours, in addition to services catered to different students. For example, more frequency during exam periods, flexible hours, weekends, evenings and extended hours.
“The [CSU] daycare provides a great service of childcare on campus,” explained Meo. “It’s like ‘one stop shopping.’ You get an education and have a daycare to watch your children.”
The idea for the daycare came after a research document was published in 2011 sponsored by the Concordia University Student Parents Centre and the Dean of Students titled “Student Parents and Their Children: How can we help them? An analysis of the student parent experience at Concordia University.”
The research found that there were many barriers student parents faced during their academic studies. The main obstacle is the lack of affordable and flexible childcare.
The student parent’s population at Concordia University is continuously growing. Since its opening, the CUSP, has seen anywhere from 15 to 20 student parents a day.
The CUSP is currently not equipped with a daycare permit. This means that parents must stay at the centre with their children.
“I think the CSU did a great thing by listening to what student parents needed and it took a while but here we are now almost ready to have a daycare that will also take into consideration student parent’s needs,” explained Sumaiya Gangat, CUSP Coordinator.
The CUSP offers a variety of programs that help student parents in any situation. From a community art program, to a homework club and life skills workshops, student parents are seeing more and more value from this program.
“Concordia seems like a great place to study when you have all of these programs in place for students who have families,” said Gangat.
The location of the daycare was given to the CSU from the university. If all goes well, Henri hopes to open a CSU run daycare at the Loyola campus and potentially a second one at the downtown campus.