Why Doctors get better childcare than Police Officers.

WORLD YOU LOVE (1)Whether you earn $20,000/year, $200,000/year or $2 million/year, your children are a top priority. Unfortunately, we live in a world where what you earn severely impacts the quality of childcare you can provide for your children, should you return to work.  Our childcare system is designed in such a way that the “haves” can afford to pay for any childcare of their choice, and the “have nots” are left with reduced choices.  Aren’t all children created equal? Don’t all children deserve to be in an environment that is rich and loving and promotes healthy brain development?

I am very thankful we have subsidized childcare of some kind. Parents who may not otherwise be able to afford childcare are given some assistance by the government. However, the limits the government has chosen to put on what childcare arrangements are subsidized, severely restricts the options of these parents!

Imagine this.

Scenario A: Parent A works for the RCMP as a constable, in Alberta. Important, even vital work, for the well-being of this province. This parent was given the blessing of twins!  Amazing, wonderful children. The beginning wage of a constable with the RCMP is just over $50,000 (which, by the way, is the subsidy cut off limit).  The parent applies for, and is approved, for subsidy for childcare. The MAXIMUM they can receive, per child, is $520/month. Ok, great, that is a significant help. The average family dayhome cost per child for an infant is $850/month. So for two children, the family is looking at an out of pocket expense of $330/child/month.  Even subsidized, that is nearly 20% of your monthly income.  But WAIT… The ratios, as outlined by our government, are that an accredited dayhome can only have 2 children under 2, per dayhome. As MOST families are looking for childcare once their children turn 1, finding 2 spaces for 2 children under 2 in a dayhome is nearly impossible! Now they have the choice of either: A: splitting up the kids (insane and totally unrealistic) B: Finding a daycare (wait lists are as long as 3 years) or C: finding a great private dayhome who will take both kids (private dayhomes cannot provide subsidy, no matter how amazing they are!)  A private dayhome, at $850/month, is now going to cost this family $1700/month.  So now, the parent begins desperately looking for any care they can afford and that will take both children together. And, being a constable, there is a good chance they need shift work accommodation! This makes the childcare search nearly impossible.  At the end of the day, out of desperation, the family chooses any childcare arrangement they can find. They do not feel good about it, they worry every day that their children are not receiving high quality care – but what else is a family to do?!

Scenario B: Parent B works as a physician. Again critical, vital work for the wellbeing of the people of Alberta.  Any MORE critical or vital than a police officer?  I don’t think so. The average physician in Alberta makes nearly $350,000 annually!!  This parent likely also needs shift work care, and perhaps they, too, have twins. But here comes the BIG difference. At that salary, the doctor can find ANY CHILDCARE THEY WANT!  A premium dayhome that charges $1400/child? No problem. Sure, it is still a large amount of money to put out every month, but at an earning potential of $29,000/month, the total of $2800/month is not even 10% of the salary. This parent is able to chose the best childcare for their child, period, without worrying about the cost.  They go to work, saving lives, confident and happy, knowing that their child is in the best care possible.

Now, I’m not saying all private dayhomes who offer care for low rates are low quality. Not by any means. Nor am I saying that all accredited dayhomes are wonderful. As with all things, some are amazing, and some are…..not.

If you have chosen to go into the childcare field because you love, and are passionate about, children, and you want to ensure they grow and develop and mature everyday under your care, God bless you. The world needs more like you. If you are a provider who puts their heart and soul into the work you do every day, you operate with integrity, passion and in a professional manner, you should be paid accordingly!!  Even charging $800/child, with 6 children in your care, YOU are only barely making more than the subsidy cut off!

YOU are doing critical work, and should be paid the full value of what you are worth.  I believe premium, professional, high quality childcare providers should be charging a minimum of $1200/child for full time. BUT, I also believe all childcare providers should be given the opportunity to prove that they are providing quality care and be granted a license to provide subsidy for parents. The parent who only makes $50,000/year absolutely loves and wants the best for their child, just as much as the parent who makes $350,000/year.

“Canada ranks last among comparable countries when it comes to public spending on child care and early learning,” – NDP Employment and Social Development critic Jinny Sims

ALL children DESERVE the best care possible. ALL children DESERVE an environment where their brains are developed healthily, correctly, lovingly.  The first 2000 days of a child’s brain development are critical to the health and wellbeing of themselves for the remainder of their lives! And the health and wellbeing of our children is key to the continued health and wellbeing of our society.

In order for providers to provide that kind of care, they need to be valued. What is the value of YOUR child’s care?

Do you have a dream of starting your own high quality premium dayhome? Let’s talk!

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