--> Getting It Right: Helping those that need the help

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Helping those that need the help

Last week in Ottawa, Olivia Chow, an NDP MP who also happens to be Leader Jack Layton’s wife, gathered the national media together to rail on the government’s proposed universal child care subsidy.

She contended that $1200 per child under the age of six is going to do nothing to help working families.

It’s obviously been a long time since an extra $100 or $200 per month meant anything to her budget. Of course, between her and her husband, they bring home $282,000 as MPS plus the $48,200 Layton gets as party leader.

An extra $100 or $200 bucks wouldn’t mean much to them, sure.

But $100 per month really does make a difference for a family just getting by. A few years ago, I had two babies and a husband in school – and I’ll tell you that $200 per month would have had a big impact on our household budget.

Another point that seems have escaped Ms. Chow (not a parent, it should be mentioned), is that most provinces already provide child care subsidies to low and mid-income families.

In BC, for three to five year olds, these subsidies range from $354 for family care to $550 for space in a group facility. A family with an after-tax pay cheque of $2500 per month or less would be eligible for the full amount and the subsidies continue on a sliding scale for families with a take-home income of up to $4100 per month.

My son's group daycare costs $575 per month and he is just turning five. For a family whose take-home pay is less than $30,000 a year, after the subsidy they would pay about $25 per month for a place at my son’s excellent centre.

The hundred dollars from the new Federal program more than covers the cost of this working family’s child care and puts extra dollars into the family for food, rent and other necessities.

It makes a real and meaningful difference to a young family just getting by in our expensive city.

Only about 13% of Canadian kids are cared for in a daycare centre, according to a StatsCanada report of February 2005. Many others are looked after by their mothers, their fathers, their grandmas or friends. Some parents work opposite shifts and develop other creative systems to care for their little ones.

This is not, as some would suggest, because there aren't enough spaces, but rather because many parents prefer not to have their children in daycare.

Because of this innovative program, the extra $100 per child under six makes a difference to these families, as well.

Families earning $50,000 a year will see about $200 of the child care amount clawed back. This is fair. We want to help those families who really need help, not hand out government cash to the wealthiest in our country.

How did you care for your kids when they were young? Does this new funding make sense for you?


As seen today in 24 Hours.


At 1:11 p.m., Anonymous Sean P., Vancouver-Quadra said...

$100 extra a month is nothing! It will amount to families buying beer and junk food, or a couple of extra meals at McDonalds!

Canadians want a national child care program, run by the Federal Government.....That one fact is what kept Harper out of a majority government, and will likely do so in the future.

At 1:11 p.m., Blogger Erin Airton said...

Thank you for your post. However, please link to long outside files, rather than posting them into the comments section.

At 1:36 p.m., Blogger Erin Airton said...

Sean -

Either you have never been poor or you've never had kids.

$100 pays for swimming lessons, better food or even, shock of shocks, child care. $200 a month for a young, struggling family makes a really big difference. If they already qualify for daycare subsidies (and the ones that need it do), this money can go to making a better life for their kids.

This program, rather than putting in place another massive, inflexible, bureaucratic organization (think national health care-scale wait lists) respects that most families do not want to raise their kids in group day care.

The provincial subsidies make sure that low and middle income families get care they can afford. The child care allowance futher lessens the load - whether their kids are cared for by a church, relative, or at home.

Parents do what they can to make their kids lives the best they can. To suggest that Canadian parents would choose beer over their kid's welfare shows a complete lack of faith in your fellow Canadians.

At 2:40 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted by Bernie"
Childcare Settings Foster Aggression and Disobedience

At 3:30 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

To some this money may not sound like much. For us, it will mean that our five year old daughter can now have swimming lessons, skates and skating lessons, skiis and skiing lessons and our first ever camping trip together as a family. Yes, $ 1200 can do all that and more.

What is really nice is that for once real working families like ours will get a benefit instead of always those who choose not to work. Of course that is why the NDP hates the policy so much.

At 3:34 p.m., Blogger Erin Airton said...

Bernie -

I do appreciate you taking the time to post multiple posts, but it isn't considerate to post to someone else's blog a bunch of issues that are off topic.

I would suggest you start your own blog for the content.

Many thanks,

At 5:48 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted by Bernie

Loathing Daycare
by Karen De Coster

These days, what we are witnessing is the first full generation of daycare kids having grown up. This is a generation clearly lacking in virtue, morals, discipline, and classical education. We complain about this all the time; of how young people today – in general – are so disrespectful of adults and so culturally repulsive in their preferences, behavior and dress.

At 5:57 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted by Bernie:

Warehousing Children
by Ilana Mercer

Cause and effect pronouncements on daycare and the state of youth today are probably misplaced. But the warehousing of children, coupled with the intellectual and moral abnegation inherent in progressive parenting and schooling go some distance in explaining the inarticulate, directionless, and angry youth of today.

At 6:00 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted by Bernie

Raise Your Own
by Cathy Cuthbert

"For two years we watched day care children respond to the stresses of ten hours a day of separation from their parents with tears, anger, withdrawal, or profound sadness," the Dreskins write, "and we found, to our dismay, that nothing in our affection and caring for these children would erase this sense of loss and abandonment." They found themselves in a dilemma: "The problem was not with our facility. It was with a problem inherent in day care itself, a problem that hung like a dark storm over good, and bad, day care centers alike. The children were too young to be spending so much time away from their parents. They were like young birds being forced out of the nest and abandoned by their parents before they could fly, their wings undeveloped, unready to carry them into the world.

At 6:04 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Posted by Bernie:
Will Universal Preschool Give All Kids a Head Start?
by Wendy McElroy

A California-based anti-universal preschool group – confusingly named "Universal Preschool.com" – argues that government preschooling actually harms children. For example, in her book "Home-Alone America: The Hidden Toll of Day Care, Behavioral Drugs, and Other Parent Substitutes," Mary Eberstadt offers evidence that children who are "institutionalized" at an early age develop a lessened ability to relate with peers, emotional problems like depression, and score lower on standardized tests.

At 7:40 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bernie said:

Erin, This funding makes no sense to me.

Why should other childless men,
childless woman and childless couples be forced to pay
for their neigbors childrens'
daycare? These people are
then required to cut back
on quality food, clothing and
shelter for themselves to support
someone elses reproductive decisions.

The system is too expensive
because the State is inefficient.
In the story of the Good
Samaritan, he sees a person
in need and voluntarily helps
the person with his own money. In similar circumstances the
State seeing a person in need,
robs the next passerby, keeps
half the money for themselves
and then hires someone to
help the person in need.
The State is an unneeded middleman.

Also this type of funding program
is just an additional incentive
for woman to leave their marriages, after all the State
is providing better than a husband could. Youth raised in single
female headed households become
dysfunctional, the males become
Criminals and the females become Sluts. This type of program
just encourages family break-up
and is not fair to single men
who are taxed and therefore less able
to build THEIR dream of a future wife and children.

Erin, why don't you start
reading www.lewrockwell.com
and learn about
laissez-faire capitalism
the system that provides
wealth and prosperity for people,
the system that Socialism
parasitically lives off of.
A socialist ( read Theftist )
system cannot and will not have
any degree of sustained success
because it is impractical
( too expensive, if you look
at Both sides of the ledger ),
is immoral and is unGodly.

Best Regards, BB

At 8:14 a.m., Blogger Brian Lemon said...

Erin - the more I read the more I like.
Olivia kinda is a parent - she took over cleaning up (actually her Mom did) after Jack's kids when they were teenagers. And I count Olivia as a friend (although misguided and not the sharpest tool in the shed).
I've got some good posts on this on my site.
I think my best describes the national plan - it is supply based not demand based. Womens' activitists will not be happy until there is a spot for every pre-schooler in Canada, with an educated, unionized, well paid educator for every 3. This adds up to about $35 Billion a year.
Also, lest we forget, Daycare is wholly a provincial responsibility. If someone wants a daycare: simple; raise provincial taxes and start or expand one.
And $100/mo is a fortune in Amherst, Tillsonburg or Melfort.


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