The CSU Drop-In Daycare is Getting Ready to Open
Union will soon offer short-term childcare service for Concordia parents
After a few initial delays, the Concordia Student Union’s (CSU) drop-in daycare service is gearing up to open in the next few weeks.
The service will offer short-term childcare to parents in need. It aims to open around Oct. 16, the week after the midterm break.
Angela Meo, director of the CSU daycare, nursery and the drop-in, said the service will operate in blocks of four hours. Parents will be able to leave their children with educators while they are studying, or going to class.
The centre was originally scheduled to open around the end of the Winter 2023 semester, but the CSU had to delay the opening, as they struggled to find an affordable and suitable off-campus location.
“We thought the process would go a lot quicker, we thought on campus there would be a spot available where we could just move-in, turn the key and use,” said Meo. “Technically we were supposed to open in May, but we only signed the lease in May.”
Each four-hour block will cost $10 and the drop-in daycare’s schedule will build around the needs of the parents. Once they officially open, the daycare will post a schedule with the available time blocks, but they encourage parents to email them to request additional blocks if need be. “We’ll be building up those blocks until we reach full-time status where we’re open every day—seven days a week, Monday through Sunday,” Meo said.
According to data from Données Québec, 5,298 children are currently in the system waiting for a spot in a Service de garde éducatif à l’enfance (SGEE) in Montreal. An SGEE is a daycare that has received accreditation from the Quebec Government.
Maria Chitoroaga, the CSU’s sustainability coordinator, said the project will help student parents, who are often forgotten about. “They can just drop their children off in the morning, go to the class and then pick up their kid. That gives them more freedom in class and with their education,” said Chitoroaga. “I think it’s a really really good thing.”
The drop-in centre’s location will be at 1800 de Maisonneuve Blvd. and there is currently no plan to open a centre around Loyola Campus, though Meo is open to the idea. “For right now, the subsidy that we received from the Ministry of Families was really for one centre, but if [they] would extend this pilot project, there would be no reason why we wouldn’t include Loyola at this point,” Meo said.
Since there is a limited number of slots available, the drop-in centre will prioritize parents who register their child 24 hours in advance, but they will also accept last minute drop-ins if they have the space.
Meo hopes the daycare can fill the needs of student parents at Concordia. “I often speak to people on campus and, oftentimes, our daycare isn’t filling their needs. So, at least when they reach out to us, we’ll have alternatives for them.”
The CSU is working on building a website for the drop-in daycare, but an official launch date has not been made clear. In the meantime, parents who are interested in the service can email the drop-in daycare at email@example.com or call at (514) 565-5437.
This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 3, published October 3, 2023.