At the end of 2013 a group of working dads from Newfoundland got together to talk child care. Here is what they said.
One 30 year old dad with two young children under four, talked about how difficult it is for him and his wife to find a regulated child care space for their 4 year old son who has special needs. “My wife and I looked into it – there are no places near where we live that have staff with the qualifications to care for our son. My wife really wants to return to work but it’s just not possible.” It leaves us struggling month to month and we are barely keeping up”.
Another young father of a three year old talked about the incredible expense of a regulated child care space. “The small amount of money we get back from the Universal Child Care Benefit is a drop in the bucket for those of us who don’t qualify for a child care subsidy. We would like more children but there is no way we could afford to”. We can’t get by on just one income!
A 34 year old father of two explained how he and his wife have to work their child care around their work schedules – which can vary from month to month. Family members help fill-in the holes when our work schedules conflict, but it is hard on the kids to be bounced from place to place – and very stressful for me and my wife”. I think the politicians that make the decisions have enough money that they don’t know what the cost and availability of child care predicament is all about. They can’t relate to the average (majority) family!”
“The Early Years Last a Lifetime” is a discussion paper that sets out a vision for child care in Newfoundland and Labrador. Let’s ensure Newfoundland’s approach to the Early Years supports public investment for public and non-profit centres. Our children need wrap around care.