A Grandmothers Story – from Saskatchewan

Posted on Mar 31, 2014

  My daughter is a single parent. I live in Saskatchewan and she lives in Manitoba.  Every Wednesday my daughter is required to work an extended shift until 7:00 p.m.  The after school program my grand-daughter attends is only open until 5pm. This means my grand-daughter, who is only 11 years old, is home alone from after school until my daughter returns home from work. Being so far away makes it hard for me to be there to support them. Instead every Wednesday evening I spend two hours on the phone with my grand-daughter helping her with her with her homework, talking about friends and her week. While I enjoy this time, I also know that for many children this kind of support is not available. Too many children in this country are spending time on their own because there is not adequate child care to meet the different needs of...

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The more things change the more they stay the same

Posted on Mar 19, 2014

Looking back over the past 20 years we have witnessed huge changes in our society from technology to food. There is however one notable exception – child care. For three members of the Canadian Union of Postal Workers the more things change the more they stay the same. Here are their stories shared at a recent kitchen table conversation. Suzie was a stay-at-home mom of three until her youngest was one year old. It was absolute hell to find child care while working afternoons with her husband working three rotating shifts. She ended up buying her mother a car so she could come care for the kids. Once she started at Canada Post as a casual worker, she constantly had to pass up hours because she had no one to care for her kids. Today she’s a secondary caregiver for her grand-kids. Kim has two boys. Twenty years ago, she was paying $30 per child per day. It was impossible to find affordable, quality child care and she was forced to use nightmarish home situations. Fast forward 20 years and today she’s dealing with the same issues with CUPW members. Little has changed. When Trish started her job, there was no child care. She’s a rural and suburban mail...

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What would you do with $926 a month?

Posted on Feb 24, 2014

That’s the average amount of money parents spend for each child they have in child care according to the Rethink Calculator. We asked parents to tell us how child care affected them in their work, community, or family life.  The good news is many wrote passionately about the high quality child care they receive.  The bad news is that the expense of child care is crushing on families. Many confirmed that child care was far more expensive than their housing costs and they have to watch every penny.  Many families forgo saving for their children’s future or their own retirement.  Participants reported struggling to pay their student debt, let alone plan for their children’s post-secondary education.  As one participant put it—“a big ugly fail on the part of the $100 per month that the government provided as a band aid to a much bigger issue.” Quality child care allows both parents to work; it gives children social and emotional group experiences that are valuable.  Parents report that child care staff are an important information resource for child development.  As one parent put it, “we have come to feel that the staff and centre are part of our family life and the children are blessed to be part of such...

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Machinists call for affordable child care

Posted on Feb 19, 2014

The time has come for our federal government to step up to the plate and provide affordable child care for all Canadians. It is working in the province of Quebec and there’s no reason it can’t be applied across the country. It’s a fact that many Canadians can’t afford to work and pay for registered child care on their own and in our country this is simply not acceptable any more....

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Child care not within reach

Posted on Feb 10, 2014

Christina De Oliveira, an IAM Local Lodge 1295 member believes there should be publicly funded child care available across the country. Christina, a mother of two, works in housekeeping at the Day’s Inn in London. Until her workplace organized with the IAM, wages were low and it was extremely difficult to pay for child care and hold down a decent job.  Either the job conflicted with her child care responsibilities and did not pay enough to pay for child care or it fell outside the hours of child care centres, so any available options were too expensive.  In order to make things work, Christina works days and her husband works nights. This video clip is Christina’s message about why we need to Rethink Child Care.

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Child care is a heart-ache for northern mine workers

Posted on Feb 6, 2014

Susan and Rhonda work at fly-in mine sites in northern Saskatchewan, 7 days in, 7 days out. “The way child care has affected us is complicated. Who is willing to look after your child for a full 7 days? Who do you trust with your child when you’re not able to be home in an emergency? These are questions you ask yourself as a parent,” Rhonda said. Working in an isolated environment creates so many complications with child care, and more so as a single parent. “You rely on family and friends, who essentially becomes a second parent to your child. This is a hard concept to get accustomed to,” Susan noted. “As a mother, there wasn’t a time when I was away at work that I didn’t think and worry about my daughter.” No matter where you live, child care is a common issue. Most services have restricted hours, based on what is perceived as regular working hours. “This doesn’t help a person who works shift work or has an overnight trip. No existing daycare or service wants a child for the 7-in, 7-out rotation!” Rhonda explained. ”You need to have someone willing to drop your child off and pick them up. When you’re on your week off,...

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