At Russell Township’s regular council meeting on January 30, council approved a salary increase of approximately 20% for Graduate and Non-Graduate Educators. According to the Township, this is the first step in its plan to attract and maintain daycare personnel, as well as increase daycare spaces in the township. The Township is also looking into assisting employees with schooling costs toward obtaining their Graduate Educator Status.
“While the Township of Russell has no obligation to provide such services, Council feels the support of our residents in this area is an invaluable necessity for the continued growth of our community,” said Mayor Pierre Leroux. “While these steps bring us closer to addressing the current shortage we find ourselves in, we need your help. If you have viable ideas or suggestions on how to address these issues, I would love to speak with you. You can reach me at pierreleroux@Russell.ca.”
The Township has some further steps planned pending Education Ministry approval. The Township wants to reopen the private daycare at Mother Teresa Catholic School for an additional 186 daycare spaces, which will include preschool and before/after daycare services. As well, the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario has requested that the Township take over as the daycare provider at St-Joseph Russell Catholic Elementary School, which will allow them to increase the current offering of 108 space to 270 spaces.
The Township is also looking into possible solutions for the future, like turning current arenas into daycare centres following the construction of the Recreational Complex and mounting recruitment campaigns throughout colleges in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR).