Letter from a BC Parent


I am a single parent with 3 children, ages 10, 6 and 3. I am a full time Selkirk College student, currently employed full time as a co-op student until the end of this year. In January I will be returning to college to complete my final semester prior to receiving a diploma in Computer Information Systems.

I have no support system. I have no family in this area, nor any real friends whom I can depend on as I am relatively new to the area, and being a single parent doesn’t leave a lot of time to forge new friendships. I rely heavily on Hobbit Hill Children’s Centre to provide quality care for my children so that I may go to work or school. I have already seen my tuition double (with no offsetting raise in student loan levels), my child care subsidy slashed by more than half, and now, to my shock, disbelief and horror, I have been informed that this government has not committed to provide funding to assist in paying the wages of childcare workers.

Where does this government think families will find the money to pay for quality child care? For this society to continue operations, parents would have to pay $55 per day, per child. Impossible. That would mean that I would not be able to work until my eldest child would be responsible enough to care for her younger siblings, or leave my children in the care of an unlicensed, untrained “sitter”. Is that fair to the children? Is it too much for parents to ask that our children be cared for by qualified childcare workers? Is it too much for childcare workers to ask that they be paid a salary to reflect the admirable jobs they do? The staff at Hobbit Hill do much more than just “watch” the children in their care. They work with the children, teach the children, help children with their homework, help to build their self-esteem. They take the children on outings and expose them to activities that as a single parent I have not been able to do. They have assisted me with parenting techniques and advice. They provide an invaluable service to the community. Where will our society be when only the rich can afford child care and the rest of us are forced to raise “latch-key kids”?

I truly feel that this government is punishing me for being a single parent. Yes, the ultimate choice was up to me. I chose to have children. I chose to leave my partner. I could have stayed in an abusive relationship and waited until “death do us part”, but I wasn’t prepared to be killed just yet. I was under the impression that our government had a mandate to end family violence, however, I now wonder. I have faced prejudice and increased financial burdens. I have watched this government take the food off my children’s plate, and in essence they are “starving our futures”.


Debra Morris
Castlegar, B.C.