So, I was reading the news online tonight and what did I see? Some parents and daycare staff in an uproar in Quebec due to a new initiative/regulation where SUBSIDIZED daycares are no longer allowed to have any reference to religion in their teachings. You can read about it HERE.
Now, what have I been saying over and over in previous posts about a 'national daycare program' like Quebec's where parents may only have to pay $7 a day? Gee let me think......... oh yes, I was saying that the more you let the govt in, the more control they will take. I listed examples of what is already happening in centers that do NOT have this program, and said that it would allow them in even more. Why not? They supply the money, so they ARE going to want a say in how everything is run. This is another example - yet parents and directors and organizations are in an uproar.
Honestly - what the hell did they think was going to happen? Gee was that a religious reference because I said hell? But SERIOUSLY - what on earth did they think was going to happen?
Now those of you who really dont care if the kids are taught religion or not might not give a hoot. Many of you would prefer that they not teach it at all in any way, shape, or form. But take a step back for a minute and think about where a lot of daycares are centered - IN churches. So now, they are saying that even those centers based right IN a church can no longer talk about religion at all? Even though parents that take their children there may WANT that and that is why they chose such a place? Even if parents going there do not mind whether they are religious or not? What about those centers? If they bought into the $7 a day system, they can no longer do that. No more churchy sing songs with the kids. No more Nativity scenes, stories, plays, or music at Christmas. No more religious talk about Easter.
When do you think it will happen that centers wont be able to talk about any holiday at all, not even secular Santa or Easter Bunny or Leprechauns or Halloween.... if you are sitting there shaking your head right now and saying THAT will never happen ---- do you think church-run daycares ever anticipated the day they would no longer be allowed to reference religion under their own roof? And now think about how many schools have already changed - such as having a Winter Holiday Concert instead of a Christmas Concert. Or how about a news piece I read this Easter about a school district in the states that started making 'Spring Globes' instead of Easter Eggs? It's already happening more and more where so-called public schools that we all pay for are being forced to change their curriculum and tactics where holidays are concerned. So why not find out that your 2 year old can no longer talk about Santa with excitement at their daycare center because the government won't allow it?
I have warned and warned and warned people for YEARS about this, but they just go into it blindly and cheer about it... until something like this happens and then they act shocked. It's mental.
In a slightly related note, I also talked previously about daycare fees, costs, etc and there are rumors going around that Alberta may raise it's minimum wage again soon. BC and Sask are apparently raising theirs, which would officially make Alberta the lowest minimum wage province in the country. The talk seems to be about going up 20 cents an hour to an even 9 bucks.
Guess what the very first thing my boss said was when a coworker mentioned that this afternoon? She said she would have to RAISE THE FEES parents pay in order to make this work because we are on the breadline already each month, and two staff members are about to hit the 5 year mark which means an extra 2% is added to their cheques each month to cover Vacation Pay as per Alberta's labour standards. That coupled with a hike in min wage would us back in the red, so she immediately talked about raising the fee 10 a month and had me go online to see if I could find any information.
That may not seem like 'much' to raise it ten bucks. However let's break it down in accordance with our minimum-wage-earning parents. 20 cents an hour raise would mean it takes 5 hours to make a whole dollar..... if we raise our fees by 10 bucks a month, each parent will automatically be using 50 hours of their new 'raise' each month to pay for the fee rise. So, in effect, they LOSE 50 hours of their new min wage each and every month just to the daycare alone. That isnt counting if other places will end up putting their prices up too. Food, gas, clothing, utilities, etc. Who knows - it's anyone's guess every time min wage goes up. So is their 'raise' actually going to DO anything? Or are they going to be exactly where they have been all along - struggling month after month after month? I think the latter. If someone were to suggest that my boss not increase fees just because of min wage hikes, how do they propose she pay her staff and run the center then? If food and other such costs more, we get hit too because everyone else raised their fees except us, and us staffers dont get a minor raise to help compensate - so she could end up losing staff that have worked there for YEARS and YEARS and that's just not good business sense. That is why so many places end up putting up their prices when min wage goes up. They have to pay their workers, just like their customers are getting paid. It's not hard to figure this stuff out but too many do not connect the dots and it makes me crazy.
I have also posted in the past about how when min wage was around $6.50/hour in the late 90s, early 2000s, I was a single mom with one toddler. I paid for an apartment on my own, bought my bus pass each month, bought all my groceries, etc etc. Now if I was making the current minimum wage of $8.80/hour, I would NOT be able to do those things. How could I make over $2 an hour MORE and NOT be able to live like I used to? An extra almost $400 a MONTH but I could not afford an apartment on my own if I hoped to be able to feed my kid too? Why is that? Costs keep increasing, and raising minimum wage does NOT help. It is proven endlessly, yet it still keeps happening and people keep begging for it. WOOO an extra 20 cents and hour, to pay for the raise in price of everything, so I STILL dont have enough money to live on properly. wow. That's exciting.
It is all relative. The govt messes up almost everything it touches and people complain about it left and right, yet the very next day they will cry out for the govt to 'do something' and to 'help us' and somehow expect the outcome to be different this time. Isn't that the real definition of stupid? Doing the same thing wrong over and over, but expecting a different result?
The people of Quebec that supported National Daycare were clapping themselves on the back for their great accomplishment, their system has been used by the Liberals and NDP as an example of what they want for all of Canada - and now some are crying foul due to more regulations. I am still waiting for the answers to all of the questions I posted previously about the system and have received NONE from any of the readers (as in, no answers to the actual questions). And now I can point to a link proving one of the main things I talked about - more govt control over daycares and your children, instead of 'Choice for Childcare' that was aimed at parents. Choice my a$$.
As a late addition, let me add that I have worked in childcare centers since 1993 or so, and I have never ever ever had a parent calling for a space ask me if we teach anything to do with religion. Never. I've never had a parent ask it after registering or at any time during the years the child is there either. Even parents who were JW just simply stated that they don't do birthday celebrations and would appreciate if we didnt do a little party like usual, and informed us that their kids would not be attending on Halloween party day or any other similar days. We were never specificially asked about our religious content. As it happens, we choose not to teach or read or sing anything about religion at all because none of us is very religious anyway and it's just the director's personal choice. There are plenty of other things to read and talk about. But when my kids went to summer camp, I put them in a program near my house and work that was based in a church. I knew they would probably learn about some religion here and there, and didnt mind. If I did not want them to learn about religion, I would not put them in a church-based daycare lol. Easy as pie. So why is it that the govt feels the need to step in like this? If parents are so concerned, they should add that to their list of questions when looking for childcare. If all the non-religious centers are full and only religious centers have spaces when a parent is looking around, then they have to come to a decision don't they? Shouldn't they? Either put their child in a church daycare and deal with it until they find a space somewhere else, or look for a dayhome or private sitter in the meantime. Why push ALL centers receiving this govt subsidy to be the same and take those choices away from ALL parents instead of the ones who have obviously been complaining about it and calling upon the govt to 'do something'? But that's what the govt does. Give an inch, take a mile, etc etc.