Code blue for daycare

by DaniGirl on February 20, 2007 · 60 comments

in Working and mothering

Please bear with me while I use this little soap-box of mine for a full-on rant about daycare.

As you know, I’ve been making a concerted effort for the last seven weeks to find acceptable daycare for my boys.

I have looked into:

* Private in-home care.
* Licensed in-home care.
* Nanny-sharing.
* Licensed daycare centre.
* School-age childcare program.

I have exchanged at least one e-mail or telephone call with sixteen potential care providers. I have interviewed four caregivers. I have applied to a centralized waiting list for licensed care in the city of Ottawa. I have applied to the waiting list for the daycare centre in my neighbourhood. I have spoken to or exchanged e-mails with three licensed agencies for home-care providers. I have added my boys’ names to the waiting list for the school-age after-school care program affiliated with their school for which Simon will not be eligible until the year 2010 when he is in Grade 1. I have spoken to two local elementary schools, hoping they might have some leads.

I still have nothing arranged. I have a few ‘maybes’, one of which is out of my price range, one of which make me feel like I am settling for ‘good enough’ when good enough isn’t nearly good enough for the treasure that is my boys, and one that has so many rules and conditions that I’m nervous to commit to them.

You know how long the waiting list is for the daycare centre in my neighbourhood? Three years. It’s much longer for me, someone who pays ‘full fees’, as opposed to someone who gets a subsidized spot, because they have roughly two subsidized spots for every full-fee spot. So the people willing and able to pay more wait longer. Not that I begrudge anyone their subsidized spot. I’d be happy enough to pay the fees, at $77 a day for both boys, but still can’t get a spot and won’t be able to for the foreseeable future.

One year after taking power, Canada’s New Government ™ has done nothing beyond placating parents with a monthly $100 placebo that pretends to be a meaningful commitment to improving access to child care. A monthly placebo that, as I previously mentioned, does not even cover the INCREASE in daycare fees that I can expect on a WEEKLY basis. And yes, those capital letters do mean I’m shouting, because I’ve worked myself up to a pretty good lather by this point.

*breathe*
*breathe*
*breathe*

When Stephen Harper’s Tories took office a year ago, they dismantled a $5 billion federal-provincial collaboration on child care. According to this article, federal funding for child care will plummet to $250M in the next fiscal year, from $1.2 billion.

That’s more than a 75% reduction, in a single year folks.

On the web site for the universal child care benefit, the $100/month pre-tax bribe payment that was part of Harper’s election campaign, there’s a widget that tells you to “Tell your family and friends about the choice, support and spaces provided by Canada’s Universal Child Care Plan.” So that’s what I’m doing. I’m telling you that in my humble opinion, Canada’s Universal Child Care Plan sucks eggs. The ‘system’ is broken.

Don’t believe me? Check out what the folks at Code Blue for Childcare, a national non-profit organization dedicated to promoting accessible, quality child care have to say. They recently gave the government a failing grade in child care on the first anniversary of the government coming in to power.



(Click through and you can add your name to the ‘report card’ if you agree.)

I have to say, I love this comment from the ‘report card’: “Stephen [Harper] has some trouble understanding basic concepts. His major term project, the Universal Child Care Plan, is not child care. It’s also not universal and not a plan.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Even if I find Mary Poppins tomorrow, and she’s willing to take care of my boys for the sheer bliss of their exquisite companionship, you’ll still be hearing more from me on this issue. It isn’t about one woman’s frustrating search for quality child care anymore.

It’s personal, and yet it’s so much more.


{ 60 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Sorry, folks, I’m still having major publishing problems. Above the paragraph that says “click through to add your name”, there is supposed to be an image to click on. Now I can’t edit this post to add it or fix the text. Sigh. The link to view or add your name to the petition/report card is this one: http://www.buildchildcare.ca/BE_petition.php/reportcard
Thanks!

2 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Sorry, folks, I’m still having major publishing problems. Above the paragraph that says “click through to add your name”, there is supposed to be an image to click on. Now I can’t edit this post to add it or fix the text. Sigh. The link to view or add your name to the petition/report card is this one: http://www.buildchildcare.ca/BE_petition.php/reportcard
Thanks!

3 nancy February 20, 2007 at 1:30 pm

I can’t believe you are having to deal with all this. I wish I was there, cause I would take your boys in a mere second. I jsut wish I could help.
xo

4 nancy February 20, 2007 at 1:30 pm

I can’t believe you are having to deal with all this. I wish I was there, cause I would take your boys in a mere second. I jsut wish I could help.
xo

5 Claudette February 20, 2007 at 1:35 pm

You know Dani, I think I may have to start putting Ben on a few lists. He’s 23 months old…and if things are this dire in Ottawa, how will Toronto look next year, next month, next week? I wish I could take your boys to come and play with my little boy…
Good luck.

6 Claudette February 20, 2007 at 1:35 pm

You know Dani, I think I may have to start putting Ben on a few lists. He’s 23 months old…and if things are this dire in Ottawa, how will Toronto look next year, next month, next week? I wish I could take your boys to come and play with my little boy…
Good luck.

7 Loukia February 20, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Hi! My son is looked after by my family so thank goodness I don’t have to deal with this – Dani, I do feel for you, I can’t believe how tough it is! Just wanted to mention, though, that the Liberals had done nothing, really, all they ever did was talk about what they were going to do, and with their track record, still nothing would have been done. So at least now you have 200 dollars a month to buy food or books or dinner…. just my two cents… have you considered Montessori?

8 Loukia February 20, 2007 at 1:41 pm

Hi! My son is looked after by my family so thank goodness I don’t have to deal with this – Dani, I do feel for you, I can’t believe how tough it is! Just wanted to mention, though, that the Liberals had done nothing, really, all they ever did was talk about what they were going to do, and with their track record, still nothing would have been done. So at least now you have 200 dollars a month to buy food or books or dinner…. just my two cents… have you considered Montessori?

9 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Loukia, the Liberals had a $5B plan and the Tories dismantled it. Since we can’t see the future, we don’t know how quickly they would have moved to implement it, but the fact is that the agreements signed with the provinces were promising.
It’s not about the Liberals or the Conservatives, it’s about decent options to support young families and early childhood education, not empty platitudes and bribes. And I don’t have $200/month to buy books or dinner because I have to use it up to pay the increase in fees I’m facing. $100 doesn’t even cover three days of care in a month, and it certainly doesn’t give me the option of having one of us stay home with the boys.
Claudette, it never hurts to get Ben on those lists. You can always take him off later, or decline an offer of care, but you can’t do the reverse.
Nancy – if I could find a caregiver who is half as patient and creative and nurturing as you, I’d pay more than $80/day.

10 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 1:48 pm

Loukia, the Liberals had a $5B plan and the Tories dismantled it. Since we can’t see the future, we don’t know how quickly they would have moved to implement it, but the fact is that the agreements signed with the provinces were promising.
It’s not about the Liberals or the Conservatives, it’s about decent options to support young families and early childhood education, not empty platitudes and bribes. And I don’t have $200/month to buy books or dinner because I have to use it up to pay the increase in fees I’m facing. $100 doesn’t even cover three days of care in a month, and it certainly doesn’t give me the option of having one of us stay home with the boys.
Claudette, it never hurts to get Ben on those lists. You can always take him off later, or decline an offer of care, but you can’t do the reverse.
Nancy – if I could find a caregiver who is half as patient and creative and nurturing as you, I’d pay more than $80/day.

11 JoJo February 20, 2007 at 1:48 pm

AMEN sister friend!
We are starting to try for another child soon and I am seriously considering staying home and taking other kids in so I don’t have to go through this mess all over again.

12 JoJo February 20, 2007 at 1:48 pm

AMEN sister friend!
We are starting to try for another child soon and I am seriously considering staying home and taking other kids in so I don’t have to go through this mess all over again.

13 Loukia February 20, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Good luck, Dani, I understand your struggles, and I’m sure I will be in your boat one day soon. I know how hard it is, and sorry not more is being done…

14 Loukia February 20, 2007 at 2:10 pm

Good luck, Dani, I understand your struggles, and I’m sure I will be in your boat one day soon. I know how hard it is, and sorry not more is being done…

15 Sara February 20, 2007 at 2:15 pm

I”m sorry you are having so much trouble.
I’m in the states, where they’re doing even less to fund or build resources for quality childcare. There’s such a shortage of infant care in my town that I’ve talked to multiple crying mothers, asking me if I know *anyone* with room for an infant. I spent far too much of my maternity leave with my second child in a state of awful anxiety over what I was going to do, because my son’s sitter was full up, and every single place I called had no spots. Except for scary ones. Places that had no business having a daycare license. It was awful….
I hpoe you can find something good, and soon… and I hope you keep agitating. Something has to happen.

16 Sara February 20, 2007 at 2:15 pm

I”m sorry you are having so much trouble.
I’m in the states, where they’re doing even less to fund or build resources for quality childcare. There’s such a shortage of infant care in my town that I’ve talked to multiple crying mothers, asking me if I know *anyone* with room for an infant. I spent far too much of my maternity leave with my second child in a state of awful anxiety over what I was going to do, because my son’s sitter was full up, and every single place I called had no spots. Except for scary ones. Places that had no business having a daycare license. It was awful….
I hpoe you can find something good, and soon… and I hope you keep agitating. Something has to happen.

17 Dal February 20, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Something to look forward too in a couple of years, great, can hardly wait!
I agree that the UCCB is a real joke, 200$ BEFORE taxes is nothing. I can’t believe that Harper is cutting back funds for childcare by 75%…
I won’t be in your shoes for a while Dani, but I do feel your frustration, I really do. I truly hope that you find a caregiver that fulfills your needs.
Hey, did you ever consider opening up your own daycare? You would be GREAT at it!!

18 Dal February 20, 2007 at 2:22 pm

Something to look forward too in a couple of years, great, can hardly wait!
I agree that the UCCB is a real joke, 200$ BEFORE taxes is nothing. I can’t believe that Harper is cutting back funds for childcare by 75%…
I won’t be in your shoes for a while Dani, but I do feel your frustration, I really do. I truly hope that you find a caregiver that fulfills your needs.
Hey, did you ever consider opening up your own daycare? You would be GREAT at it!!

19 dean dad February 20, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Dani —
I SO feel your pain on this one. When The Boy was an infant, his daycare was $250/week. That alone was a budget-buster, but we did what we had to do. We got a tax deduction (technically, for American readers, a flexible spending plan) that saved about $1000/yr off the 13,000/yr we had to pay. Gee, thanks.
Now my brother and his wife are facing the same issue. Since an infant needs a dedicated crib, there’s no such thing as ‘part-time’ infant care; even if you only need 3 days a week, you pay for 5.
Part of the motivation for The Wife to stay home once the second kid came along was the realization that about 90% of her after-tax paycheck would go to daycare. Figure additional gas and sundries, and it was a break-even proposition.
It’s a brutal, brutal system. Best wishes finding care worthy of Tristan and Simon.

20 dean dad February 20, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Dani —
I SO feel your pain on this one. When The Boy was an infant, his daycare was $250/week. That alone was a budget-buster, but we did what we had to do. We got a tax deduction (technically, for American readers, a flexible spending plan) that saved about $1000/yr off the 13,000/yr we had to pay. Gee, thanks.
Now my brother and his wife are facing the same issue. Since an infant needs a dedicated crib, there’s no such thing as ‘part-time’ infant care; even if you only need 3 days a week, you pay for 5.
Part of the motivation for The Wife to stay home once the second kid came along was the realization that about 90% of her after-tax paycheck would go to daycare. Figure additional gas and sundries, and it was a break-even proposition.
It’s a brutal, brutal system. Best wishes finding care worthy of Tristan and Simon.

21 snackmommy February 20, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Please let me preface this by saying I feel just awful for the predicament you are in with regards to the boys. I know you have always been a believer in fate, so I’m hoping Mary Poppins is truly right around the corner.
That being said…..I have to support Loukia’s comments. The 5B plan was in place as part of an election promise when the Liberals realized they may truly be out of power. The liberals had many many years to put thier plan in place did not. A plan that was a former election promise. While it is not ideal, the Conservatives committed to the UCCB and the cheques were in the mail in under a year. Is it ideal, no, did they do what they committed to when elected, yes. That is more than I can say for the liberals. They had their chance to do so. They had many many years to do so, yet they did NOTHING.
As for the $200.00 a month not covering your increase in child care fees, it’s not an increase due to a national increase in charges of child care. It is an increase you are facing if you wish to change (improve) upon your child care provider.
You *know* I personally want you to find the most excellent person to look after your beautiful boys. I just don’t feel that the challenges in doing that can be laid solely at the feet of the government. The government who is in power because more Canadians approved of their ideas than any other party.
OK, let the flaming commence….

22 snackmommy February 20, 2007 at 3:19 pm

Please let me preface this by saying I feel just awful for the predicament you are in with regards to the boys. I know you have always been a believer in fate, so I’m hoping Mary Poppins is truly right around the corner.
That being said…..I have to support Loukia’s comments. The 5B plan was in place as part of an election promise when the Liberals realized they may truly be out of power. The liberals had many many years to put thier plan in place did not. A plan that was a former election promise. While it is not ideal, the Conservatives committed to the UCCB and the cheques were in the mail in under a year. Is it ideal, no, did they do what they committed to when elected, yes. That is more than I can say for the liberals. They had their chance to do so. They had many many years to do so, yet they did NOTHING.
As for the $200.00 a month not covering your increase in child care fees, it’s not an increase due to a national increase in charges of child care. It is an increase you are facing if you wish to change (improve) upon your child care provider.
You *know* I personally want you to find the most excellent person to look after your beautiful boys. I just don’t feel that the challenges in doing that can be laid solely at the feet of the government. The government who is in power because more Canadians approved of their ideas than any other party.
OK, let the flaming commence….

23 Chantal February 20, 2007 at 3:25 pm

“The government who is in power because more Canadians approved of their ideas than any other party.”
Well no, technically that’s not true. We have a minority government. More Canadians disaproved of their ideas, they were just more dispersed of amoungst the remaining parties.

24 Chantal February 20, 2007 at 3:25 pm

“The government who is in power because more Canadians approved of their ideas than any other party.”
Well no, technically that’s not true. We have a minority government. More Canadians disaproved of their ideas, they were just more dispersed of amoungst the remaining parties.

25 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Ah, my darling right-wing Snackmommy – I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist this one!
See, I agree with you that the Tories promised $100 and they delivered on that promise. But $100 does not equal choice, or a universal plan.
And, truly, the increase to my personal child care fees ARE related to a national (or at least local) increase because reduced funding at a national level => fewer spots => higher demand => higher prices AND reduced choice AND less quality spaces available. That’s why I’m taking my advocacy campaign on the road, because I think the government should do more, not less, to support all families who work hard to raise children. And while I do understand that you want the best for me and my boys, I think that the efforts I’ve put in to date show I’m willing to take the larger burden of responsibility for child care, but it infuriates me to see Harper’s government patting themselves on the back for a job well done when in fact they have done less than nothing and they’ve made the situation worse.

26 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 3:33 pm

Ah, my darling right-wing Snackmommy – I knew you wouldn’t be able to resist this one!
See, I agree with you that the Tories promised $100 and they delivered on that promise. But $100 does not equal choice, or a universal plan.
And, truly, the increase to my personal child care fees ARE related to a national (or at least local) increase because reduced funding at a national level => fewer spots => higher demand => higher prices AND reduced choice AND less quality spaces available. That’s why I’m taking my advocacy campaign on the road, because I think the government should do more, not less, to support all families who work hard to raise children. And while I do understand that you want the best for me and my boys, I think that the efforts I’ve put in to date show I’m willing to take the larger burden of responsibility for child care, but it infuriates me to see Harper’s government patting themselves on the back for a job well done when in fact they have done less than nothing and they’ve made the situation worse.

27 andrea from the fishbowl February 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm

The extra $100 does not guarantee a space in a daycare – any daycare. That’s the problem.

28 andrea from the fishbowl February 20, 2007 at 3:45 pm

The extra $100 does not guarantee a space in a daycare – any daycare. That’s the problem.

29 mad_hatter February 20, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Here. Here. Here.
I write about this too at my place every now and then. My husband and I both work at the university in the Maritime city where we live. The university has a day care centre that prioritizes university students and staff on its waiting list. I put my name on the waiting list when I was 5 months pregnant. Last month, I was informed that the my daughter (who is now 2) will never get a spot. She is too far down the waiting list. This means that the waiting list is more than 5 years long–a situation that defies all reason but is sadly the case when it comes to child care in this country.
I would like to ask Mr Harper who in sam hell I am supposed to give my $100 a month to when there is NO ONE in a position to care for my child in the city where I live?
In the end, though, this issue isn’t about me. It is about all families who depend on parental income. My husband and I are currently juggling our schedules, taxing our marriage, and hiring very expensive in-home, part-time university student care to make do. Fine. We have the financial and workplace luxury to do just that. What in sam hell is the single mom who checks out my groceries supposed to do? What about the working poor who do depend on two incomes just to put food on the table? What about shift workers who have to pay for premium care b/c of the timing of their work schedules?
We can’t sit back and assume that all families can have one parent stay home to solve this problem. No. The economy would collapse if this happened. Hospitals and nursing homes would lose the majority of their care-giving staff. Stores would have to cut hours. Offices would need to downsize. The country would go to hell in a handbasket overnight. If the economy is anchored on the priciple of dual incomes, then childcare should be considered an essential service.
The Harper gov’t policy is an insult to women in the work force and it is an insult to child care workers. For example, I don’t deposit my pay cheque in a landromat; I deposit it in a bank because that is the professional service offered by banks. Why should I be forced to deposit my child with just anyone? My sister is a highly trained child care professional. Yes, it is a profession and the profession can and should have meaning and the professionals in this field should be afforded respect.
Mr. Harper, you have failed miserably. Dani, thank you for showcasing this issue here. I plan to put you on the Just Post list for the month of February because of it. Sorry for turning my comment into a post but I do believe in dialogue in the blogosphere. And, well, this topic does make me hot under the collar.

30 mad_hatter February 20, 2007 at 4:04 pm

Here. Here. Here.
I write about this too at my place every now and then. My husband and I both work at the university in the Maritime city where we live. The university has a day care centre that prioritizes university students and staff on its waiting list. I put my name on the waiting list when I was 5 months pregnant. Last month, I was informed that the my daughter (who is now 2) will never get a spot. She is too far down the waiting list. This means that the waiting list is more than 5 years long–a situation that defies all reason but is sadly the case when it comes to child care in this country.
I would like to ask Mr Harper who in sam hell I am supposed to give my $100 a month to when there is NO ONE in a position to care for my child in the city where I live?
In the end, though, this issue isn’t about me. It is about all families who depend on parental income. My husband and I are currently juggling our schedules, taxing our marriage, and hiring very expensive in-home, part-time university student care to make do. Fine. We have the financial and workplace luxury to do just that. What in sam hell is the single mom who checks out my groceries supposed to do? What about the working poor who do depend on two incomes just to put food on the table? What about shift workers who have to pay for premium care b/c of the timing of their work schedules?
We can’t sit back and assume that all families can have one parent stay home to solve this problem. No. The economy would collapse if this happened. Hospitals and nursing homes would lose the majority of their care-giving staff. Stores would have to cut hours. Offices would need to downsize. The country would go to hell in a handbasket overnight. If the economy is anchored on the priciple of dual incomes, then childcare should be considered an essential service.
The Harper gov’t policy is an insult to women in the work force and it is an insult to child care workers. For example, I don’t deposit my pay cheque in a landromat; I deposit it in a bank because that is the professional service offered by banks. Why should I be forced to deposit my child with just anyone? My sister is a highly trained child care professional. Yes, it is a profession and the profession can and should have meaning and the professionals in this field should be afforded respect.
Mr. Harper, you have failed miserably. Dani, thank you for showcasing this issue here. I plan to put you on the Just Post list for the month of February because of it. Sorry for turning my comment into a post but I do believe in dialogue in the blogosphere. And, well, this topic does make me hot under the collar.

31 Julie February 20, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Hi Dani, What neighbourhood in Ottawa are you looking for daycare?

32 Julie February 20, 2007 at 4:33 pm

Hi Dani, What neighbourhood in Ottawa are you looking for daycare?

33 yvonne February 20, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Daycare is the reason that I am *choosing* to leave my child in a Montessori program and skip traditional education for the JK and SK years. I am NOT willing to try to find a caregiver that WANTS to work (and I pay more than $40 per day for my 3 year old) and not plunk the kids in front of the TV. As JK and SK are half days in the Catholic Board, she would have to be in the school district and get my son from school at 11:30. I guess $40 a day is not enough to justify the 2 block walk. And I sympathize. I took in my girlfriend’s kids for 2 years when I was home with my second. I had a wonderful time with them but it was never about making money. There is no money to be made at the $25 per day I charged. In food and activities alone, I was working at a loss most days. I have no solution for you, just joining in on the rant. I too, do not believe it is political, there were no spaces available prior to the Conservatives either. Trust me, I looked.

34 yvonne February 20, 2007 at 5:44 pm

Daycare is the reason that I am *choosing* to leave my child in a Montessori program and skip traditional education for the JK and SK years. I am NOT willing to try to find a caregiver that WANTS to work (and I pay more than $40 per day for my 3 year old) and not plunk the kids in front of the TV. As JK and SK are half days in the Catholic Board, she would have to be in the school district and get my son from school at 11:30. I guess $40 a day is not enough to justify the 2 block walk. And I sympathize. I took in my girlfriend’s kids for 2 years when I was home with my second. I had a wonderful time with them but it was never about making money. There is no money to be made at the $25 per day I charged. In food and activities alone, I was working at a loss most days. I have no solution for you, just joining in on the rant. I too, do not believe it is political, there were no spaces available prior to the Conservatives either. Trust me, I looked.

35 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Mad, here here right back atcha! You raised the point that I had intended but forgot… that I am in the priveledged position to be able to vetch but I can afford some options, whereas not everyone is so lucky. And thanks for the Just Post consideration. I’m honoured!
Julie, I’m in the Longfields area of Barrhaven. A couple of kind people have already sent me leads, and I’m open to any options! E-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com if you have more leads I can hunt down!

36 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 5:46 pm

Mad, here here right back atcha! You raised the point that I had intended but forgot… that I am in the priveledged position to be able to vetch but I can afford some options, whereas not everyone is so lucky. And thanks for the Just Post consideration. I’m honoured!
Julie, I’m in the Longfields area of Barrhaven. A couple of kind people have already sent me leads, and I’m open to any options! E-mail me at danicanada (at) gmail (dot) com if you have more leads I can hunt down!

37 Sara February 20, 2007 at 7:30 pm

As you know I don’t have kids, but I love line “sucks eggs” in reference to a government initiative! I will probably be using it over at my place ever once in a while!!!
Good luck as you continue your hunt for affordable yet good daycare!!

38 Sara February 20, 2007 at 7:30 pm

As you know I don’t have kids, but I love line “sucks eggs” in reference to a government initiative! I will probably be using it over at my place ever once in a while!!!
Good luck as you continue your hunt for affordable yet good daycare!!

39 BeachMama February 20, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Dani, I wish you only the best in finding appropriate affordable care for both Tristan and Simon, in this, one of the most difficult neighbourhoods in Ottawa to do so. And know in your heart that this is what I wish for you. But, I too (like SnackMommy)have to put in a point about the Harper coin.
I for one, who chose to give up my career for my kids, am delighted with the extra money. It definately isn’t much, but on one income it has allowed us to buy museum passes, take skating lessons and register J for Duffer Doo once a week. It was also a heck of a lot more than we ever would have gotten out of the $5B plan from the Liberals. Unfortunatly stay at home parents weren’t included in that plan at all.
We as a family decided to live on one income, it wasn’t and isn’t always easy. We don’t go on fancy vacations like we used to, we don’t eat out or order in very often, like we used to and the combined ages of our vehicles is 25 years, but we have made it work.
If I do hear of any leads at all, I will pass them along.

40 BeachMama February 20, 2007 at 10:01 pm

Dani, I wish you only the best in finding appropriate affordable care for both Tristan and Simon, in this, one of the most difficult neighbourhoods in Ottawa to do so. And know in your heart that this is what I wish for you. But, I too (like SnackMommy)have to put in a point about the Harper coin.
I for one, who chose to give up my career for my kids, am delighted with the extra money. It definately isn’t much, but on one income it has allowed us to buy museum passes, take skating lessons and register J for Duffer Doo once a week. It was also a heck of a lot more than we ever would have gotten out of the $5B plan from the Liberals. Unfortunatly stay at home parents weren’t included in that plan at all.
We as a family decided to live on one income, it wasn’t and isn’t always easy. We don’t go on fancy vacations like we used to, we don’t eat out or order in very often, like we used to and the combined ages of our vehicles is 25 years, but we have made it work.
If I do hear of any leads at all, I will pass them along.

41 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Thanks, Anna, for your comments, and you know how I feel about the decision to stay home with your kids. Each family has to choose their own path. Once again, though, I have to say that it’s not the fact of the $100 I have a problem with, it’s calling it funding for child care. YOu said yourself, you use it for niceties like skating and museums and whatnot. That’s great – but it’s not child care.

42 DaniGirl February 20, 2007 at 11:15 pm

Thanks, Anna, for your comments, and you know how I feel about the decision to stay home with your kids. Each family has to choose their own path. Once again, though, I have to say that it’s not the fact of the $100 I have a problem with, it’s calling it funding for child care. YOu said yourself, you use it for niceties like skating and museums and whatnot. That’s great – but it’s not child care.

43 cinnamon gurl February 21, 2007 at 12:25 am

Oh Dani. I’ve been away, but I remember when you first considered looking for new child care. I called something like 40 providers, only about four of which had an opening. Only one of those four was remotely acceptable, but luckily she is wonderful. This is a big issue, and a great post on it. I hope you find something soon!

44 cinnamon gurl February 21, 2007 at 12:25 am

Oh Dani. I’ve been away, but I remember when you first considered looking for new child care. I called something like 40 providers, only about four of which had an opening. Only one of those four was remotely acceptable, but luckily she is wonderful. This is a big issue, and a great post on it. I hope you find something soon!

45 tanya February 21, 2007 at 1:49 am

Let me start by saying I wish you luck with your daycare dillema. It sounds like you really are exploring all the options.
I live in Quebec where the government has graciously taken away most of my options. A ‘national daycare program’ to me takes away parent’s choices. Here we have $7/day full time daycare in government run centres (if you can get a spot ha ha better be on a waiting list before your kids are born) Underfunded $7/day “private” full time (not govt. run) that can’t charge what they want or private nanny $$$.
I can not find ANY part time care. Even if I am willing to pay FULL time my kids would have their spaces taken away if they don’t go full time.
The govt. here is taking away any choice that doesn’t fit their plan but, Our taxes are funding a system we can’t use.
Parents who chose to stay home with their kids do not do it because they are rich but, they finance dacare for the rich.
Sorry, this is a very raw nerve for me. I’m not pro-liberal or conservative I just wish the govt. would tax us less and let us chose how we want to care for our kids. Subsidise daycare for those who really need subsidies.

46 tanya February 21, 2007 at 1:49 am

Let me start by saying I wish you luck with your daycare dillema. It sounds like you really are exploring all the options.
I live in Quebec where the government has graciously taken away most of my options. A ‘national daycare program’ to me takes away parent’s choices. Here we have $7/day full time daycare in government run centres (if you can get a spot ha ha better be on a waiting list before your kids are born) Underfunded $7/day “private” full time (not govt. run) that can’t charge what they want or private nanny $$$.
I can not find ANY part time care. Even if I am willing to pay FULL time my kids would have their spaces taken away if they don’t go full time.
The govt. here is taking away any choice that doesn’t fit their plan but, Our taxes are funding a system we can’t use.
Parents who chose to stay home with their kids do not do it because they are rich but, they finance dacare for the rich.
Sorry, this is a very raw nerve for me. I’m not pro-liberal or conservative I just wish the govt. would tax us less and let us chose how we want to care for our kids. Subsidise daycare for those who really need subsidies.

47 Kerry February 21, 2007 at 4:02 am

Economics and political science 101, by Kerry.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Draw an x and a y axis on the paper, with the vertical line (labelled P) really close to the left of the horizontal line (labelled Q). Draw one line from near the top of the vertical line down and to the right so it’s out near the end of the horizontal line, and put a D at the bottom. Draw another line from near the bottom of the vertical line out past the intersection with the D line, and label it S.
Draw a dotted line from the point where the two lines intersect to the vertical line, and label that $10.
Pick a point halfway between $10 and the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines, and draw a dotted line from $5 out to the right, so that it passes in a horizontal manner through the D and the S lines.
This is the essential problem with regulated, fixed price day care (as proposed by the former liberal government). The first intersection of $5 is with the S line: this is how much day care suppliers are willing to offer at a price of $5. But at that price, parents want a much higher Q (quantity). Until the price moves up to $10, supply will never meet demand.
The government can provide incentives to stimulate more suppliers to offer more spaces, that will bring the number of available spaces closer to the optimum, but until there is an equilibrium between supply and demand, you will always have a hard time finding a space. Government regulation and fixed prices make it artificially difficult to find a space (thus the experience of your commenter from Quebec).
Furthermore, day care is not actually the responsibility of the federal government. Although the federal government can indeed offer money to the provinces to achieve their social agenda, it is up to the provinces to determine how to spend the money they collect from taxpayers. I would suggest that you start lobbying Dalton McGuinty, as this might get your farther than complaining about the UCCB.
The former liberal government with their child care agreements were actually enhancing the CHST, which is a block transfer, and they were crossing their fingers that the provinces would spend the new money on day care. The provinces were not legally bound by those agreements, and if they really cared they would have implemented them anyway.
Which leads me to a final point, back to the economics. One would think that this country would be more concerned about its birth rate, which would spur demand for more day care spaces. But, given that there is no cohesive (or even incohesive) policy to increase the birth rate (another provincial responsibility), it follows that day care also has no cohesive policy, must as early childhood education is also inconsistent. If there was more demand for spaces caused by a spike in the birth rate, prices for day care would rise, and more single income families would be created, thus lowering the overall standard of living in this country.
And that, kids, is one of the reasons why we encourage immigration, and not procreation.
Economics and politics lesson over for the night.

48 Kerry February 21, 2007 at 4:02 am

Economics and political science 101, by Kerry.
Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Draw an x and a y axis on the paper, with the vertical line (labelled P) really close to the left of the horizontal line (labelled Q). Draw one line from near the top of the vertical line down and to the right so it’s out near the end of the horizontal line, and put a D at the bottom. Draw another line from near the bottom of the vertical line out past the intersection with the D line, and label it S.
Draw a dotted line from the point where the two lines intersect to the vertical line, and label that $10.
Pick a point halfway between $10 and the intersection of the vertical and horizontal lines, and draw a dotted line from $5 out to the right, so that it passes in a horizontal manner through the D and the S lines.
This is the essential problem with regulated, fixed price day care (as proposed by the former liberal government). The first intersection of $5 is with the S line: this is how much day care suppliers are willing to offer at a price of $5. But at that price, parents want a much higher Q (quantity). Until the price moves up to $10, supply will never meet demand.
The government can provide incentives to stimulate more suppliers to offer more spaces, that will bring the number of available spaces closer to the optimum, but until there is an equilibrium between supply and demand, you will always have a hard time finding a space. Government regulation and fixed prices make it artificially difficult to find a space (thus the experience of your commenter from Quebec).
Furthermore, day care is not actually the responsibility of the federal government. Although the federal government can indeed offer money to the provinces to achieve their social agenda, it is up to the provinces to determine how to spend the money they collect from taxpayers. I would suggest that you start lobbying Dalton McGuinty, as this might get your farther than complaining about the UCCB.
The former liberal government with their child care agreements were actually enhancing the CHST, which is a block transfer, and they were crossing their fingers that the provinces would spend the new money on day care. The provinces were not legally bound by those agreements, and if they really cared they would have implemented them anyway.
Which leads me to a final point, back to the economics. One would think that this country would be more concerned about its birth rate, which would spur demand for more day care spaces. But, given that there is no cohesive (or even incohesive) policy to increase the birth rate (another provincial responsibility), it follows that day care also has no cohesive policy, must as early childhood education is also inconsistent. If there was more demand for spaces caused by a spike in the birth rate, prices for day care would rise, and more single income families would be created, thus lowering the overall standard of living in this country.
And that, kids, is one of the reasons why we encourage immigration, and not procreation.
Economics and politics lesson over for the night.

49 Kerry February 21, 2007 at 4:05 am

I was serious about drawing out the supply/demand curves, by the way. It helps to illustrate the point.

50 Kerry February 21, 2007 at 4:05 am

I was serious about drawing out the supply/demand curves, by the way. It helps to illustrate the point.

51 DaniGirl February 21, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Seriously? I love you guys. I love what everybody brings to the table, I love how you are all different, I love how you can disagree respectfully. I even love the economics lesson!
But I still think Harper is duplicitous to claim a victory for child care, I think his policies are ‘family friendly’ only to traditional one-income, two parent families, and I think I will probably have a lot more ranting to do on this subject.

52 DaniGirl February 21, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Seriously? I love you guys. I love what everybody brings to the table, I love how you are all different, I love how you can disagree respectfully. I even love the economics lesson!
But I still think Harper is duplicitous to claim a victory for child care, I think his policies are ‘family friendly’ only to traditional one-income, two parent families, and I think I will probably have a lot more ranting to do on this subject.

53 alison February 21, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Just apropos of nothing, did you know that when you rearrange the letters in Stephen Harper’s name, you get “Panther Herpes”? Seriously.

54 alison February 21, 2007 at 2:29 pm

Just apropos of nothing, did you know that when you rearrange the letters in Stephen Harper’s name, you get “Panther Herpes”? Seriously.

55 cheryl March 6, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Just happened upon this post as I was pondering what to do about my own daycare situation.
My son is actually in an excellent local daycare centre. Problem is, I’m expecting another child. The only hope I have of getting a spot for the next child is keeping my son in daycare while I am on mat leave (which will be expensive). If a child doesn’t already have a sibling in the daycare, the waiting list for infant spots is now 2 years.
Then, when I do have both children in daycare, the cost will be, oh, some $2200 a month as far as I can see.
I find Harper’s $100 month so, so insulting. And useless.

56 cheryl March 6, 2007 at 5:02 pm

Just happened upon this post as I was pondering what to do about my own daycare situation.
My son is actually in an excellent local daycare centre. Problem is, I’m expecting another child. The only hope I have of getting a spot for the next child is keeping my son in daycare while I am on mat leave (which will be expensive). If a child doesn’t already have a sibling in the daycare, the waiting list for infant spots is now 2 years.
Then, when I do have both children in daycare, the cost will be, oh, some $2200 a month as far as I can see.
I find Harper’s $100 month so, so insulting. And useless.

57 jen March 10, 2007 at 4:01 pm

amen. it’s one of the things, IMO, that contributes to homelessness in single parent/low income families.
it’s time for more than lip service by our collective governments. it’s time to do the right thing for families and the kids living in them.

58 jen March 10, 2007 at 4:01 pm

amen. it’s one of the things, IMO, that contributes to homelessness in single parent/low income families.
it’s time for more than lip service by our collective governments. it’s time to do the right thing for families and the kids living in them.

59 Edward Green October 12, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Hi, Do what I did and start your own Daycare, see your kids grow up and earn some decent money at the same time.
http://www.startingachilddaycare.com/

60 Edward Green October 12, 2007 at 8:03 pm

Hi, Do what I did and start your own Daycare, see your kids grow up and earn some decent money at the same time.
http://www.startingachilddaycare.com/

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