The minute my daughter was born, I knew that I would do anything to keep her safe. That I would pay any amount of money to ensure her needs were met, to keep her healthy, and make certain she grew up in a safe environment.
Even if I didn’t have the funds available.
When we found out that she had a peanut allergy, that feeling tripled.
We were lucky to have already had her placed in a daycare that was peanut free and aware of the dangers of introducing nuts into the environment. They took care to ensure there was a safety plan in place should she ever be exposed or require her EpiPen, and had an emergency contact form filled out and posted.
We had been to training sessions to teach the daycare teachers how to use her medication and had endless discussions regarding what to look for should she react.
And then there’s the actual daycare itself.
They love her.
They encourage her growth and they foster independence. They take pictures of her and do crafts regularly. They save them all up and creating scrapbooks to surprise the parents with at Christmas.
They love her.
But it comes at a cost.
This cost I have written about at length. It’s a battle I have been fighting for a long time and, unfortunately, I am not winning.
The Ontario government does not make families and middle class Ontario residents a priority. My letters to the Members of Parliament and the Ministry of Education have fallen on deaf ears and I have received nothing but form letters in return.
We are going into debt in order to keep our daughter safe.
Ontario offers a subsidy for residents who qualify based on their gross; our gross income is too high. I have attempted to explain in several letters to the Ministry that I do not earn my gross pay. I have also tried to discuss the possibility of them changing their assessment criteria and making living expenses part of the intake measures, making it easier to see where an applicant’s money is going, and why middle class parents cannot afford daycare.
I was informed they had done this before and people did not like their finances looked at.
So the cost of daycare continues to rise and the Ontario Government continues to pay for those eligible, while those of us who aren’t must go into debt because we are assessed based on money we don’t even bring home.
And no one is listening to the families who need the help the most.
How are the rising costs of daycare affecting your family?
Photo credit to EdenPictures. This photo has a creative commons attribution license.