Hot! The Daycare Dilemma

TheGlobeandMail.com – commentary/letters to the editor
Oct. 26, 2013.    Brooke Richardson, Heather Johnson-Wilson, David Paul Stone, Carmen Chan, Nicolai Grigoriev, & Scarlett Sloane

Those who suggest that parents who use child care are somehow not “raising” their own children, take note: We most certainly are! No one would say that someone sending a child to school – or kindergarten or nursery school – is handing their child off to someone else to “raise.” The idea that I somehow am a lesser parent because I work fulltime is hurtful and just plain wrong.

Some even suggest I shouldn’t have had a child in the first place, if I can’t afford to stay home. Yes, that’s the solution: Leave child-bearing to the upper classes who can afford a stay-at-home mother. Here’s news from the front. In the real world, parents who work are nurturing, loving and wholly committed, too.

Brooke Richardson, parent of a three-year-old, step-parent of a five-year-old and expecting, Toronto

………

Child care is a huge cost, but it should be seen as an investment. As Canadians, we need to pressure the powers that be to put our money where their mouths are. No better way to invest taxpayers’ dollars than in early learning.

Heather Johnson-Wilson, Adelaide, Australia

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It isn’t 1950 any more. It makes economic sense to provide the ability for parents to earn money and use the education and skills that taxpayers have paid for. Otherwise, it is a waste of resources for someone with 20 years of education to stay home.

David Paul Stone, Toronto

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The average, Canada-wide hourly wage for Early Childhood Education staff in a regulated centre is $16.50 – an absurdly low rate that would not allow me, a fresh graduate with tuition debt, to support myself, let alone feel like a valued professional. At the heart of every high-quality child-care program are well-trained, well-compensated ECEs. Therefore, we can’t talk about a national child-care strategy without talking about the issues of recruitment, retention and remuneration of trained early childhood professionals.

Carmen Chan, Ryerson University, undergraduate student, Early Childhood Studies

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If it is publicly managed (not just “funded”) with enough guaranteed places and properly trained and supervised staff, that would be a great relief for the parents.

Most of these basement family daycares just do not provide anything close to what I would call “preschool child care.”

Nikolai Grigoriev, Brossard, Que.

………

There are no licensed child-care spaces available in my area, and it is a daily stressor trying to find exceptional care for my eight-month-old son.

Scarlett Sloane, Calgary

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