Friday, January 19, 2007

 

Warm Beer and Stale Policy

Alberta childcares are resticting intake due to staff shortages. Could this be further proof the Conservative's so called "Child Care Plan" is the glass half-empty.


I have long argued that there is nothing wrong with financially rewarding people for having children in an era of declining birthrates. Canada used to do it with the old Family Allowance program. Many parents did then what wise parents are doing now, invest the money for their child's future education. It is, however, pure non-sense to announce a program under the guise of child care when a single new space isn't created to allow children to receive said care.


The Universal Child Care Benefit is a new form of direct financial assistance that provides parents with resources to support the child care choices that help them balance work and family as they see fit. Parents may even wish to deposit all or part of their benefit into a Registered Education Savings Plan.


The second part of the Conservative plan calls for $250 million a year to be set aside for investment in community child care. The money is meant to increase the availability of child care by offering tax credits for capital investments in child-care spaces. Harper predicted the plan would create 125,000 spaces over five year with the help of the private sector and non-profit organizations that would get a $10,000 tax credit for every space created.


Childcare activists (yes Bumf I am aware these people often have "liberal" agendas - heaven forbiden that people who look after kids care about nurture over numbers) and researchers are still awaiting the rush from the private and volunteer sector to take all those glorious Conservative tax benefits and convert them into actual spaces.


One of the biggest crimes in all this discussion is in fact the staff issue. Educational lobbyists often toss early childhood development practicioners around as the classic example of highly indebted students. The soon-to-be graduates are entering one of the lowest paying jobs in the country. Safeway clerks make more than most people who care for kids in homes and centres. The answer rests plainly in higher salaries for these staff.

Comments:
You can't use Calgary or Alberta as proof that the Conservative's Child Care Plan is failing because everyone is short workers. It has been anounced that the City of Calgary will be cutting back bus routes due to lack of drivers, unionized drivers.

The bigger issue is that the market will not bear higher wages, in order to bring childcare worker's wage on par with Teachers you would require massive increase in taxes that is unfair to people who don't have kids or whose kids have grown up. Your average parent could not afford to pay daycare workers anymore than what they are paid now.

It doesn't appear that Quebec's daycare system is the answer either because of the cost and lack of space.
 
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