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Parents lobby for child-care spaces [CA-SK]

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MacDonald, Sarah
Publication Date: 
12 May 2006

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More than 100 people pushing strollers and carrying signs that read, "Improve child care, do not abandon it," and, "If we give Harper an allowance, will he stay home?" marched to Revenue Minister Carol Skelton's office Thursday with a petition demanding better child care from the federal government.

"The (federal) budget came down and they're talking about the $1,200 for families, but it cannot be in place of an early learning child-care system."

Parents wanted to make sure the MPs knew that parents aren't happy with the Prime Minister Stephen Harper's so-called "two-choice" solution, which gives $1,200 to each family for children under six to pay for child care. This money, which is taxed, can be used to cover the costs of being a stay-at-home parent or to pay for a place in a day care or preschool.

A nationwide campaign for child-care places has a petition with more than 35,000 signatures, Delanoy said. She said the majority of Canadians want a national child-care system.

There are 168,000 children under 12 in Saskatchewan, and 110,000 working moms, Delanoy said, but only 8,000 licensed child care spots.

She said there aren't options for the $1,200 since there aren't enough childcare spaces for that money to be spent on.

…"This isn't a debate about stay-athome moms or moms who go to work," Ann Rodgers told the crowd, while her children looked on from a wagon.

"I've done both and I support child care. Harper was right about one thing. Parents do know best. As a parent I know the best thing for my children is highquality child care."

Skelton wasn't available to comment, but a representative from her office accepted the petition on her behalf.

- Reprinted from StarPhoenix