The Case for Affordable Child Care

Jenny Daggitt is a cardiac surgical ICU nurse, and her husband, Patrick, is a computer programmer. In 2017, when Jenny was three months pregnant, she put herself on thirty-three wait-lists of every and any type of child care, from community daycare programs to unlicensed outfits run out of people’s houses, within a thirty-minute walk from her home in East Vancouver. By the time her maternity leave ended, a year and a half later, she had heard of an opening at only one of the operations, but deemed it sketchy. Hiring a nanny, which, in Vancouver, could cost more than $30,000 per year, was unaffordable. So Patrick took paternity leave and Jenny picked up overtime to make up for the lost income. Eventually, they figured out a way for Patrick to work part-time and for Jenny to work twelve-hour night shifts and weekends so they could pay their bills and care for their daughter and not completely stall Patrick’s career.

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