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Child care workers in the territory have determined how they will spend the $223,000 coming from the territorial government.
The money will be split in half with $115,000 going to wages and the other $115,000 going towards operational costs. The announcement came yesterday from the minister of Health and Social Services, Peter Jenkins.
"It's a start," Jasbir Randhawa of the Yukon Child Care Association said in an interview this morning.
While the funding won't address all the needs of child care facilities, it does provide some assistance while the child care community develops a four-year plan over the next six months.
The wages for workers will increase according to the training level:
* Level 1 -- which is a 60-hour course -- will receive an additional $1.71 per day or $72 per month.
* Level 1A -- which involves additional courses than the level one -- will see a wage increase of $3.43 per day or $99 a month
* Level 2 -- which involves a one-year certificate in early childhood education -- will receive another $4.71 a day, or $144 a month.
* Level 2A -- which are workers in between the certificate course and the two-year diploma program -- will see an additional $6.86 a day or $144 per month.
* Level 3 -- which are staff with a two-year diploma in early childhood education -- will get an additional $9 a day or $189 per month.
"This is before deductions," she said.
The remaining $115,000 for operational costs will be determined by set up spaces, or the number of openings the facility is licensed for, in a one-time payment of $97.45 per space.
For example: if a program is licensed for 12 children and there are workers for 12 children, it will receive $1169.40 (12 x $97.45) for the next six months.
Randhawa said the child care association agrees "100 per cent" with Jenkins' comment that child care workers play a vital role in the Yukon.
The $25,000 which will also be coming to child care in the Yukon from the federal government is not enough, Randhawa said.
"It should be like health care," she said of child care.
The association plans to lobby the federal government for additional funds as well.
While the Yukon Child Care Board, Society of Yukon Family Day Homes and the association will spend the next six months coming up with a long-term plan for child care in the Yukon, Randhawa said if the project isn't completed by then they will likely lobby the territorial government for additional funding as well.
-Reprinted from The Whitehorse Daily Star