|Waiting for the bus on our way home from daycare.|
However, the trouble with a home-based daycare is when she gets sick, it closes down. This week we had three days of scrambling for care while our daycare provider recovered from a nasty bug. We’ve been lucky to have flexible hours at work so that we can make four hours of grandparent care a couple of days & work from home another day, with some entertainment provided by Uncle Mikey. I'm not sure what the other parents did.
I don’t blame our daycare provider—she’s doing the best she can. It's awful to be really ill when she's pregnant with a toddler to look after too. I blame the BC government’s lack of investment in early childhood education. If we’d been able to access a daycare centre—say, one of the 25 that I called to try to find a place back in February—this wouldn’t likely be an issue. If one staff member gets sick, there are other workers. The place doesn’t shut down.
It’s great that families can find care for their children with home-based daycares, but this isn’t really a solution to the childcare crisis in this province. Besides the issue of the daycares closing down due to illness of the provider or their child(ren), there’s also the fact that many of them cost more than a childcare centre. I found after calling literally dozens of centres that their rates were on average lower than what I found with home-based care providers.
Again, I don't blame the home daycares--I think everyone who takes care of children should be well-paid & well trained. I don't understand why our government seems to think that children younger than five don't deserve to have well-educated & fairly paid workers taking care of them & teaching them.
We really need a government that is willing to invest in childcare so that every child who needs it has a space in a childcare centre. I support the $10 a day plan because that would make childcare so much more affordable for most families, which would mean more parents (read: moms) would be able to rejoin the work force. The impact of subsidized care is pretty obvious in Quebec--studies have shown that for every dollar invested in subsidized childcare, about $1.40 comes back by way of income & consumer taxes from more working parents as well as actual provincial GDP growth. (This article has links & more info)
You can read more in the Coalition of Childcare Advocates of BC's fact sheets here, then personally endorse the $10/day childcare plan here, then start bugging your MLA & the candidates in your riding about this issue. Talk to your friends, post it on Facebook & tweet it. Tell them about the return on investment & get the word out that (contrary to what Christy Clarke says) it would be a net gain, not an expense for our province.
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