letter to the editor375

Please, expand bus schedule Open letter to Whitehorse Transit management, I’m a single parent of my six-year-old girl.

Please, expand bus schedule

Open letter to Whitehorse Transit management,

I’m a single parent of my six-year-old girl. Recently I told her that I’d take her to the Canada Games Centre skating and swimming, as schools were closed for the day.

Then I found out that there are also no city buses running that day.

Our 19-year-old car finally gave up last year, so getting myself and my daughter around is difficult, to put it mildly.

We have no other family to rely on for transportation and have been using the city buses extensively, when they’re available.

I also had to pull her out of Sparks, because of no viable night bus service, not to mention Sundays void of service. 

On February 24th many family events happened at the Multiplex, yet there was no way for people without a car to get there.

We were also only able to get down to Rendezvous on Saturday, as the buses only ran during one of three days of activities.

I realize most families have one or two vehicles, but there are many single parents who cannot afford the luxury of a vehicle.

This makes a very challenging situation, much more difficult. Do you not realize that this demographic exists, or do you just not care?

When a fundamental service such as general transit is suspended for statutory holidays, special transit services should be arranged for the vehicle deficient demographic, to get themselves and their children to community events.

Without a car we exist in a different culture than most people, and suffer for it

Glen Parr

Whitehorse

Don’t forget the children

The Yukon Child care Association would like to thank all those who participated in the Second Annual Professional Development Day held on February 17th and SpeciaLink’s Inclusion Practices Profile and Principles Scale workshop on February 18th.

Keynote speakers Diana Carter from Sector Council for childcare spoke on the recruitment and retention issue plaguing the country.

Debra Mayer spoke about both inclusion of children with special needs in childcare as well as the importance of advocacy in child care as the new federal government topples the Liberal initiative for a National Child care Plan.

Health and Social Services minister Brad Cathers explained that the Yukon did not sign an agreement in principle like the provinces had, as all three territorial governments, are negotiating together and held out for base funding plus per capita.

While YCCA fully supports the territorial governments, because the per-capita funding was too minimal to address the federal government’s QUAD principals, it now leaves Yukon families with young children at a disadvantage.

The agreements in principle will be honoured until March 31, 2007.

In the territories, one year of federal funding is available in trust, but after the year’s end federal funding is nixed.

Which brings the issue home: How do we solve the recruitment and retention problems surging through the Yukon?

Presently, only 10 students are enrolled in the Early Childhood Development courses at Yukon College, an all-time low.

Child care Services Unit states 95 per cent of licenced day-care facilities are in non-compliance of meeting regulation requirements, mainly because training requirements set out in 1991 and implemented in 2001 cannot be met.

The answer is not lower the standards. Government standards are low enough, meeting only three out of seven in the Early Childhood Environment rating scale (a quality control measurement).

Our territorial government must now take on the responsibility of explaining to the public the importance of Early Learning and Child Care.

At the conference Susan Langer, chair of the Child Care Awareness Committee, unveiled the Yukon Coalition for Child Care.

The coalition includes the Yukon Child care Association, Society for Yukon Family Day Homes and the Child Care Awareness Committee.

The coalition is set to launch a public awareness campaign in order to include the public in the dialogue for a better childcare system in the Yukon.

Educated staff is crucial to quality childcare.

Not only in the development stages of young children (of which there are three milestones before the age of six, and five different areas of development that span interests in literacy, math, social, science and art) crucial, but the understanding of social values, communication patterns etc. that allow for a healthy relationship between the caregiver and parents who use childcare.

It is primarily through education of caregivers that quality childcare is achieved.

We encourage every Yukoner to become involved in this dialogue.

Write to MP Larry Bagnell and ensure he is fighting for the preservation of the previous government’s National Child Care Plan, write or phone minister of Health and Social Services Brad Cathers and your MLA to ensure funding is available, regardless of the national child care issue, to ensure childcare wages are increased and recruitment and retention becomes a non issue in the Yukon.

Thank you again for your support. Should you wish to become more involved in YCCA you may reach our chair, Cyndi Desharnais at carealot@klondiker.com

 

Cyndi Desharnais, chair, YCCA, Whitehorse