Andrew Fleck Child Care Services: A Local Success Story – Celebrating 100 Years
As 2011 approached, the non-profit, charitable Andrew Fleck Child Care Services commissioned a history to mark its 100th anniversary. The resulting work describes the development of the Ottawa agency from its humble beginnings as a tiny Lowertown nursery caring for the children of working mothers to a sophisticated, city-wide, multiservice child-care organization. Today, it is recognized as one of the most diversified, multiservice early learning, child-care and family support agencies in Ontario. Included in the history are profiles of the leading figures in the organization’s development as well as numerous photos.
The Nursery occupied two rooms, where rows of clothes baskets served as cribs for the infants. An employment bureau that furnished domestic day work for the mothers (cleaning offices, doing sewing or other domestic tasks in private homes) supplemented the Nursery’s child-care services. To be eligible for care for their children at the Nursery, the women had to be Ottawa residents who had been forced into the workforce to augment the family income. This need could arise because the marriage had broken down, the mother was unmarried or widowed, or the father’s salary was inadequate to meet the family’s needs. Even if these conditions did not apply, however, a short-term placement for the child could be arranged if a mother was in hospital. Whatever the reason behind the need for care, the children had to be between the ages of one and seven. Fees for the children were set at 10 cents a day per child, and five cents a day for each additional child in the family. No fee was charged if the situation warranted it.