Rescind the letters of termination for all staff at The Child Centre within RFCS!

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It has come to our attention that the amazing facilitators at our beloved Child Centre within the Rural Frontenac Community Services, is at risk of losing their jobs. Woman who have worked in these positions collectively for 99 years, Woman who fought so hard, to keep our Child centre open have now been given termination letters, and encouraged to apply for positions that they have already held for 10 – 27 years, in hopes that they get hired back.

In April The Early Years Centre merged to an Early ON Centre. Jan, Marcie, Penny, Melissa and Maribeth put weeks of work into the proposal that scored the centre the highest mark in all of the applications. The dedication these woman put into this proposal saved our Child Centre, yet they are being punished with termination and being made to re apply and interview for positions that they are clearly dedicated to and more then qualified for.

I talked to someone from the Early ON Centre in the Quinte area I learned that their centre has also decided not to terminate their their entire permanent staff because they felt the need to make this transition as seamless and stress free as possible.

Rural Frontenac Community Services states on their website there mission is “To provide opportunities that will enhance the well-being and self-sufficiency of all community members.” Causing stress, anxiety and worry to not only your own staff, but also to the families that have been dedicated to this centre, because of these woman, that's not enhancing the well-being of our community.

In my opinion these 5 women are more than deserving of these jobs. What they don't deserve is the stress of not knowing if in a few weeks they may not have their jobs to go to because it was filled by someone externally. There are 7 available positions and there are already 5 very dedicated, educated, qualified woman who should already fulfill these roles. They have helped shape the lives of hundreds of families, they have encouraged strength and growth within our community and they have offered support and resources to those in need. So why terminate these women who have dedicated almost their entire lives to shaping this program?

I want to tell you a little story;

A few months ago, I was in a really bad place in my life. I was suffering from anxiety and situational depression. One morning I was in distress. Having no family close by, my first instinct was to call Jan and Melissa at the Child Centre, not even an hour after talking to Melissa, Marcie showed up at my doorstep offering me help, support and just a shoulder to cry on, (I also must mention, this was Marcie's day off, and there was no obligation that she needed to help me) She stayed with me for hours. she helped me with my kids, she cleaned the snow off of my car and she lead me in the right direction to get the help I needed.
What I'm trying to say here is; the woman who facilitate this program, are not just employees. These women have become our families. They are the heart and soul of that place and there is no on more deserving of these positions, then these strong, intelligent, most caring woman.

Now, I truly believe that one woman can make a change, but together we can make a huge impact so Id like you to hear what a few other moms in our community have to say.

“I am Ashley Weiss and I have 4 children ages 11 - 8 - 2 and 1 . We have been involved in the child centre since my 11 year old was little .. I am deeply saddened of this news that somebody has terminated the employees that have tirelessly worked their life's away at the Sharbot lake facility . Lots of these employees have worked their for many many many years and have helped shape our children into who they are today. They have watched our kids grow from baby's to children and even teenagers . This is absolutely NOT fair that they have been put in this position of "possibly" losing their jobs . This will not only affect them , but it's also going to affect A LOT of children and parents. I would really hope that you would take into consideration the feelings of our children who have grown up with these wonderful people and have became a part of soooo many family's. I know my children would be devastated to lose these employees . I myself would be very upset so I can't imagine how my kids would feel .
Let's do the right thing and keep these wonderful humans right where they are and have been for many years ! I do not see the early on centre being successful without them . My hopes and prayers will be with these employees .
• Signed a concerned parent.”

“I started going to The child centre when I was pregnant with my second child. Due to the fact that I had fears with my first one, because I had a scare. I wasn't treated properly at the hospital and my son was very sick. We both almost lost our lives due to Kingston General Hospital not practising the proper procedures. I had toxemia and pre-clampsia. The residence did not take this seriously they didn't put the epidural in properly so when I got pregnant with my daughter, I was afraid that this would happen again. I had an amazing support system at the child centre. All these women contributed support for me to regaining my ability and conquer my fears. They assured me everything would be OK as well as giving me the confidence to deal with this again. I don't think what they're doing is right to these women as we all need people to help us through things and they have help me through so much more.

Thank you

• Crystal Helland ”

“ When I was a new mom to my now 3.5 year old daughter I struggled with breastfeeding, my daughter and I needed help.
My mom found the child center and we went to see what it was all about,
By the time we were leaving Jan had introduced me to Marcie, given me all the literature on breastfeeding, and a local lactation consultant to contact.
I then began to attend playgroups. Melissa, Penny and Marcie were so amazing with my daughter and myself, so welcoming and caring!
They’re advice and wisdom helped in so many ways.
I’ve continued to bring my daughter to the center for play groups Monday and Wednesday, miss A just adores these women, it takes my daughter many months to be comfortable with new people, to think that these women who essentially have become our friends may be no longer there, it breaks my heart. Not only to loose the friendship built for myself, but for my daughter who speaks about them daily.
Last September there was a school readiness program was offered for my daughters age this past year, I enrolled my daughter, She learned so so much!
These women not only make this establishment run, they care, they make differences, they love the families of they’re community.
Please don’t disrupt this center.
Our community needs these women. They’re a beating heart for us.

• Jessica Spalding”

“"A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected"

"If it isn't broke, don't fix it"

The vast knowledge and support of the current staff is stronger than ever. These women go out of their way to truly get to know each family and offer any services they can, from information about the youth program, clothes-for-kids campaigns, car seat installation support, school readiness programs, school supplies for kids, the list goes on.
The current staff are a wonderfully rounded team trained in a variety of important early educational aspects such as 'play-based learning', aboriginal knowledge and 'how learning happens'.
We are a small community in a rapidly changing world. Jan, Marybeth, Marcie, Penny and Melissa are like an extended family, something that would not be found in a larger city.
I truly believe that this is no way to treat the team of support that has stood strong in this community for a generation now. Woman who have helped so many families, treating each with respect and dignity. I'm sure the way in which the staff are being currently treating is legal but it certainly does not seem ethical!

• Heather Robidoux “

“I have been going to playgroup up at the Sharbot Lake Child Centre since my oldest was born 4 and a half years ago.
Marcie, Jan, Melissa and Penny have always gone above and beyond to make myself and my children feel welcomed and cared about. Whether I have questions about parenting, child development, or events and classes going on in the community they are the people that I go to. They are knowledgeable and always happy to help with kind and loving advice.
They truly work hard getting to know the families that attend playgroup and what goes on in the community. They are always letting me know of community events and programs that are being offered that my family or I may be interested in.
The Child Centre would not be what it is without these women, they are a huge part of our community and work extremely hard to make playgroup a wonderful place to go. They deserve to keep their positions and it is a shame that they have to even worry that they might lose their jobs.

• Trish DesRoche”

”I think it’s absolutely insane that the faces that not only us parents have grown to know, trust and love but our children have as well, are at risk of losing their jobs after all of these years. Trust is a hard thing to earn especially with children involved and it’s not something that myself as a mother, want to try to earn with someone new and I don’t want my children to have to either. These faces are the faces of the Child Centre. They’re always there to help with open doors and arms. I really hope this is reconsidered and everyone happily keeps their employment. These employees have worked their guts out for this place and I think it would be wrong to just toss them to the side.

• Sarah Burke”

As you can see, these women have done more than just facilitate a playgroup. They have built a strong community. They have given more then what has ever been expected from them. And more then anything, they have become our family. That being said, losing even just one of these amazing woman would be so detrimental to this community.

So we are here not to ask, but to demand that you to rescind these termination letter and allow these woman the security of their jobs that will in turn, enhance the well-being and self-sufficiency of THESE community members.


Jean Conlon, and all the Child Centre families; Past, Present, and Future.