Families are Desperate for School-Age Child Care
Dear Ministry of Children & Families,You are failing my family. I live in East Van. My daughter goes to XX Elementary. We have been on the one and only after school care waitlist that services this small school for a whole school year, and the waitlist has now been shut down due to COVID-19.We will essentially never get after school care for our daughter now.What I can tell you as an extremely highly educated Canadian woman who has researched other options now for a whole year, there is no other option that works for families. After school care is the one and only option that lets women work full time (which often means, lets women work period, as often part time is not an option).Regardless of income, privilege, language skills, Neighbourhood connections (I have all these), I am very close to having to give up my job because I can’t cover a couple of time slots in my elementary aged child’s day. Imagine the situation for those less privileged?
Here is why all other potentially available options do NOT work:- no qualified nanny who is legally able to work in Canada will accept an after school shift of 2-3 hours. They have very lucrative full time jobs working for families desperate because of lack of daycare, often at $30+ per hour.-the stupid limit on nannies not being able to take care of more than 2 children from different families applies equally to children of all ages and prevents families (legally) from pooling resources to offer a huge salary to a nanny to try to find someone for 2-3 hours per day. I can’t even do this with one other family with two kids who lives down the block (I was so disappointed when I realized this, as I had found the perfect family).-even after school programs I have found WITH AVAILABLE SLOTS (and I have found them a short drive away) cannot accept my daughter due to licensing limits or because the teachers will be at other schools picking up children. They will not even let me drop off my daughter there if I can miraculously be available at 3pm every single day to pick up my daughter and drive her there.-VSB will not let me transfer my daughter to another school with available after school spots (even when I emailed three school trustees for support).-my daughters school does not want new programs opening up in the school now because of COVID (yes, I know a mom who runs a licensed family daycare, has a school aged child in the same school as my daughter, who tried).Tell me what option I missed?What do I want you to do? Other than a long term fix, I ask you to urgently and immediately take actions to change the rules on nannies being able to care for more than 2 kids from different families, with school aged children (at least for shifts of 4 hours are less). This will at least give us a shot of hiring someone legally.I won’t even start on before school care. I guess moms are supposed to magically teleport from their child’s school which starts at 9am, to their job across town which also starts at 9am. And yes, people are clambering at my door for that shift of 30-45 minutes per day.XX, mom to XX, 7 who has no before or after school care and never will have any under the current rules in place
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