Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New childcare subsidy regulations

Dear whichever neoliberal policy maker is currently in charge of childcare subsidy,

I know that your intent is to save "taxpayers" money by cutting "unnecessary" programs, and that is why you decided to change subsidy this year. You have succeeded. I might be forced to spend the summer (maybe longer) on welfare because of your cuts, but, hey, with our abysmal rates, that is actually cheaper for you than paying my childcare expenses while I get a minimum wage job.

Last April, when I finished my exams, you gave me 90 days to find a job before I lost my childcare funding. You understood that jobs do not appear out of thin air, they take work to aquire. This year, you decided that I am to lose my childcare space the day the exam period is over.

Now I ask you, Mr. Neo-liberal Policy Maker, how am I supposed to find a job without daycare? You say I can look for work while my children are in school. I accept that premise, but what you don't answer is what I am supposed to do when I find a job and have already lost my daycare spots? I will have to turn down the job because I won't be able to go to work without daycare- especially because my son is in kindergarten, and, as such, is not yet in school full-time. It took me 3 years to get through the waiting list at the daycare my children need to be in for me to attend grad school in September because it is the only childcare center in the city that is open later than 6:00 and my classes will run in the evening. That means that if I lose this daycare spot, I may not be able to go to grad school in September. But I'm glad you saved a few dollars.

I am not asking for you to pay for this "uneccesary" childcare indefinitely; just give me a month or two to find a job. I am currently finishing a placement, which also involves preparing a 30 minute presentation and 20 page paper, my fourth year honours essay is due by the end of the month, which also includes a 30 minute presentation, and I have an exam in fourth year statistics. As much as I would love to begin my job search right now, that is not feasible because I am a full-time student which is why you are providing me with daycare in the first place.

So, because you want to save a few dollars by not covering daycare any longer than necessary (necessary as defined by you, Mr. Neo-liberal Policy Maker), I may lose my daycare and not be able to attend graduate school. Thank you. I am glad that you are doing your job and saving a few dollars.

By the way, I'm sure Ontario businesses really appreciate the cut to their electrical costs in the recent budget. And I'm sure Canadian businesses appreciate having the lowest tax rates in the "developed" world. But 30 days to find a job is asking for too much I guess.

former grad student candidate


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