People want education, not childcare subsidy

Duncan – The B.C. government is offering $40 a day to parents, per child under the age of 13, to acquire learning and explore other educational opportunities, or to cover standard daycare, in the event that the B.C. teacher’s strike continues into September. The move has been ill-received by teachers, parents and the public alike, who’d rather the money be used for schooling, rather than as a childminding subsidy.

But rega rdless of the poor critical reception, it’s not likely classes will resume for the scheduled first week in September, and parents are now forced to make daycare arrangements; too little too late for many, as most daycares are full, already taking wait-lists. With this $40 a day in play, there are questions that need answering. Like, is this available to all parents, or only those in certain income brackets? Surely middle class families will sooner or later feel the brunt. One major concern is the availability of this subsidy to children under the age of 13 – the public education system does encompass students from kindergarten to Grade 12. So what happens to the students 14 and over? Surely they’re able to go without alternative means of education for however long, right?

No, not likely. In fact, most older students, particularly those in grades 11 and 12, plan their courses around their work and sports schedules. Some are playing catch up, trying to graduate on time. Others depend on a full school year to get the most out of their education, in hopes of scholarships and bursaries. Any time that is robbed from their learning is a grave error.

By only subsidizing students under 13, the government is allowing the students that are 14 and older to slip through the cracks, an exclusion that’s bound to have its repercussions. By leaving students behind, the government has added to their long succession of mistakes. When will they learn?

Noah Robertson