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Your letters: Make quality child care affordable

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Author: 
Howitt, Melissa & Cook MacDearmid, Andrea
Publication Date: 
1 Feb 2018
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EXCERPTS

Daycare sticker shock tied to minimum wage, Jan. 14

As an ECE professional, it baffles me that Ontario’s $14 minimum wage has an impact on child-care costs. This despite a $12.7-million provincial fund to assist with the wage hike and prevent fee increases.

How is it acceptable for professionals who are doing meaningful, labour-intensive work to be in this predicament? Something has got to give. Not only are many educated, hard-working individuals who are in charge of shaping the minds of our future generation being ripped off but so are hard-working families.

Are the operators of commercially owned child-care centres sitting back in the lap of luxury while their employees and families struggle financially? What is the reason for not being able to pay their employees what they are worth?

I ponder this considering that I work for a non-profit agency that not only gave staff raises in 2018 but also managed to keep fees from increasing for the first time in years.

It is time for a change. Operators of commercially operated child-care programs need to take accountability and support their staff and families. The children need us and they need us now.

Melissa Howitt, Etobicoke

TDSB may add programs for before and after school, Jan. 17

This good and informative article speaks about creating extended programs for children 4 to 12 years of age. Most parents of this age group have continued to struggle in finding care, as there have not been enough programs since the implementation of full-day kindergarten. Programs have either ceased to operate or centres have been forced to close down completely.

Finally, more extended programs are being created, but they remain difficult to afford. Adding extended programs in schools seems like the solution because of the supply and demand, but how do we make it more affordable while maintaining quality programs?

I think if both schools and child cares work in collaboration, these programs will be more viable and therefore successful. The fees should allow all families to be able to participate. As we continue to be recognized as registered early childhood educators (RECE) who offer quality care, an increase in funding will occur and therefore decent pay. As a result, fees could decrease significantly, making programs more affordable to all parents.

Andrea Cook MacDearmid, RECE, Toronto

-reprinted from Toronto Star

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Entered Date: 
6 Feb 2018
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