LETTER: Defending the benefits of affordable daycare

Many working parents are facing a daycare dilemma

Re: “Questions raised over B.C. NDP’s childcare budget plan” Feb. 21

I wanted to address the speculation Katya Slepian raised in her critique of the positive news about creating affordable daycare for all British Columbians rather than just the wealthiest and those who qualify for subsidies.

Firstly she began by attacking the number of new jobs created. The UBC prof she quotes says we can’t find 6,000 new workers. This will bring more workers into the workforce by freeing them from having to work in substandard home jobs. There’s a wealth of talent stuck in grey market jobs caring for children. Besides that, lots of parents would like to work but are faced with a dilemma — their partner earns more than the subsidies allows, and they’re looking at working for less than $5/hr after daycare costs.

“It has none of the benefits of being a teacher.” How do you know that daycares won’t have benefits for the employees? My children’s daycare had benefits and paid a living wage. Minimum wage is going up to $15.20. That’s not going to be the base rate for the better jobs.

Now let’s talk about the snide reference to education levels of teachers. First off a daycare certificate is two years, not four. A full degree in ECE is four years. It is a real asset and can get you employed in many locations besides a daycare. You will find most teachers have six years of credits to begin earning base pay that is often less than a full-time daycare worker. The question could be asked in reverse — if we make daycare so good, who will want to be a teacher?

Nobody ever said anything about taking babysitting away. Providing everybody opportunity to work for an actual paycheque should help make up for employment shortages. Let people get to work!

Jason Peil,

Nelson

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