I just read an article on CTV Montreal's webpage http://montreal.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20110306/national-childcare-policy-110306/20110307/?hub=MontrealHome regarding 'national childcare'. I noted that within the article, a woman is quoted as saying ""I want to contribute to society,"" but the article goes on to add that 'childcare for Lily [her child] would cost $16,000 each year, a good chunk of the salary she expects to earn as an early childhood educator....
Okay so what they are saying is that the govt, federal and provincial levels, should be putting more taxpayer dollars into the system so that parents are not charged so much for monthly childcare fees. Okay - but how exactly is the parent contributing to society then? As a good early childhood educator, helping preschool age kiddos - yes that is a good thing. But the taxes she pays, and the taxes of all those around her, would be largely going to the funding of the program and running the program, and paying her wages --- and not out into 'the economy'. There are several plans out there and the one I hear about the most is $7/day daycare.... okay so that means about $150 a month for full time use of a daycare/dayhome/etc. One staff member should get a minimum of $2000/month and they can only look after 3-10 children, depending on the age of each child, and therefore the MOST money paid by parents toward one staff member's wage is $1500/month. Where is the rest of that staff member's wage going to come from? Oh that's right - tax dollars. Where are the building fees, supply costs, food costs, support staff, etc dollars going to come from if the money each parent pays for fees doesn't even pay ONE staff member for a month? Oh that's right - tax payers yet again.
How much exactly is being contributed to society in such a situation? Whether a person wants to take a job at McDonald's as a janitor, or as a professor at a University, or as an airline pilot, doctor, psychologist, etc, they could all be paying the same monthly fee. If we are going to talk about being 'fair', is it fair that someone making $200,000 a year could end up paying the same amount for daycare fees as a person making $20,000 or less per year?
This also relates to my earlier post about things being in a vicious cycle. If daycare fees are lowered, that means more tax dollars are being pushed into the system, but then taxes may increase, which may cause daycares and other businesses to raise their wages so staff can survive, so then parent portion for fees may increase, then they may call for more tax dollars to supplement - and on and on it goes and goes and none of us get anywhere at all.
But by all means people - if you choose to enter a lowerpaying workforce (as in the woman in the article who already has a degree in science, and also has a college diploma in something else - but now CHOOSES to go back to university again to work in ECD which is notoriously a lower paying field (you know, so we dont have to charge parents more and more and more,,,,,,),,,, and then complain that daycare costs too much.
In my small city, the avg is about $700/month for childcare. In the bigger cities it is over $1000/month per child. But for it to be less, the staff working there have to take a pay cut, or tax payer dollars have to be funneled in when there already isn't enough to go around to programs as it is. And I see a very vicious cycle about to erupt.
Be careful what you wish for, is all I can say!