The Greater Victoria School District is considering jacking up the rent it charges daycare providers, a decision that one preschool says will likely spell its demise.
The idea of Strawberry Vale Preschool on Rosedale Avenue shutting its doors is a frightening reality for parents in the area.
“I imagine we’d be closing our doors after 65 years of serving this community,” parent Angie Hentze said.
The non-profit that runs the preschool pays the school district $230 per month for rent and the district says it wants to hike that monthly fee to $1,300.
“A landlord that raises a rent 600 per cent is looking to get rid of their tenant,” Hentze said.
The increase would be passed on to families who would have to pay an extra $40 each month for their child’s daycare.
Strawberry Vale Preschool isn’t the only facility that stands to be affected, most childcares across the district are facing a potential increase in rent.
Hillcrest's out-of-school care could see monthly rent go up from $700 to $1,365.
Out-of-school care at South Park currently stands at $350 per month, but that could go up to $1,365.
“Feels to me like a cash grab, they’re raising rent an enormous amount,” Hentze said.
The school district says it has no choice, and the rent increases will pay for much needed maintenance at some facilities as well as new childcare spaces.
“We’re actually hoping to use some of the increased money to reinvest in childcares in our schools to make sure they’re available for years to come,” said Mark Walsh with the Greater Victoria School District.
Walsh notes with the rent hikes the district will take on a bigger role maintaining preschools like Strawberry Vale.
The school board will vote on the recommended rent increases Wednesday night.
With files from CTV Vancouver Island’s Robert Buffam