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  • Writer's pictureRhonda Massad

Rising cost of summer camps worries a Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue parent.

With the arrival of springtime weather, many parents are turning their attention to summer plans and camp options. Most West Island cities and towns offer some form of programming for children's camps directed at working parents who struggle with childcare in the summer. One Sainte-Anne's parent, Ariane Beauregard, noticed that prices have almost doubled this year, making the decision of whether to send her child to camp difficult.

Beauregard compared the SADB camp fees to alternative municipal camps, such as L'Île-Perrot's, where a week of a 5-day camp from 9 am until 4 pm is $65 for residents' first registered child, and daycare is an additional $42 for residents. The camp is affiliated with the Sport-Plus online registration platform.

"What's the point of going to work if you give half your paycheck to a day camp? Imagine being a single parent with two or three kids," Beauregard expressed in her Facebook post.

The camp in question falls under the municipal purview of the municipality of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue (SADB). The city hired Air-en-Fête to take over the summer program, a Québec company specializing in municipal and private day camps for children aged 5-12 making it much more costly for residents. The price for a week of camp, from Monday to Friday, 9 am until 4 pm, is $218 for only one child. For non-residents, a week of camp is $243, and daycare is an additional $37.

PHOTO: Air-en-Fête

The City of Dollard-des-Ormeaux's camps hover around this price; their Kidz Camp is $220 per week, which runs from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm and includes all services. Beaconsfield's recreation center camps are $215 per week for residents. They're also running from 8:30-4:30; combined daycare is an additional $40 per week.

Beauregard is a single mother and feels defeated by the price of Sainte-Anne's camps; she stated that pre-Covid, she paid $147 per week, and last year paid $206 for the week. She claims that when asking the staff if they had received a raise last year, they answered they had not.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue District 1 Councilor Ryan Young stated that next Tuesday, April 11th, there will be a 7:30 pm open council meeting at Centre Harpell that residents may attend to express their thoughts to the city council and mayor.

Air-en-Fête's website claims that if a family's revenue is above $46,296 annually, they can receive up to 87% of the camp's cost back through tax credits. The West Island News has reached out to the company for comment, and no response has been received at the time of publication.

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