Thursday , May 6 2021

The three-day postponement of payments led to the Christmas crisis for some BCs. daycares



The owner of the living room in Kelowna, Amanda Worms, was forced to use a personal credit line and borrow money from her parents when the state payment failed to arrive on time.

Sent photos / PNG

Living room owner Amanda Worms spent part of her Christmas holiday to pay the rent after the province was late for three days with a $ 22,000 fee cut.

"It is impossible to do the job," the operator at Okanagan said on Thursday. "If the government really wants to go to general care about children, they must unite."

In April, the province launched an initiative to reduce child care fees, which reduces living expenses up to $ 350 per month for each area, depending on the age of the child and kind of child care. The money is paid directly to the living room, which transfers the savings to the families. Operators must submit documentation by the 20th of each month to receive payment by the first day of next month.

But in December and January, some payments were postponed for as long as three days, leaving daily operators in a difficult place.

Worms, which runs two Kelowni kindergartens with 250 seats, receives $ 22,000 a month from the government instead of part of the parental allowance. The money is used to pay rent for two buildings, three small buses and staff.

"About $ 42,000 of the expense comes out of my account in the first month, not including salaries," she explained. "In the past we could have one or two parents who are late in paying, but now the impact is multiplying."

Worms said she had submitted a request for payment on December 20, before the deadline. When she did not see money by the end of the month, she called the Ministry of Child and Family Development and her staff told her that the payment would be between December 31 and January 4.

"From that moment I spent hours on the phone trying to figure out what to do," she said.

Finally, one of her landlords agreed to wait for a few days to pay for rent, while Worms covered the rest of her credit line and helped her parents.

"The government has said it is a" small postponement ", but it is not small," she said. "If it's late one day, it can cost me thousands of dollars."

This is not the first time that this has happened. Worms said there was a delay with her last three payments. Before the government program came into force, if the family did not pay their taxes, they could ask them not to return until the debt was resolved.

"I can not tell them I can not come because the government has not paid their fees."

Kelowna's homeowner Amanda Worms.

Sent photos /

PNG

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In a statement he sent to the e-mail, a spokesman for the ministry said that "the number of legal holidays in December resulted in short delays for some service providers".

The ministry also pledged to do better, saying that it would consider ways to improve the payment system to ensure that "in such circumstances, funds are available at the beginning of the month to allow them to pay their staff or other related expenses. "

The ministry failed to provide Postmedia with the number of operators who received late payments in January. However, the spokeswoman said that by December 24,2,200 payments were processed, and "the majority" had received their money by January 1.

Asked about late payments earlier this month, a spokesman for the ministry said some of the payments were "a couple of days late" in December due to "delays in new staff joining the program of financing childcare and legal holidays."

A total of 2,600 children care organizations have been approved for reducing child care fees – around 86 percent of eligible organizations. The Ministry has recently increased the number of staff considering requests.

But the program was not without criticism. In the spring, some parents saw minimal reductions in fees when some providers of daily services increased their fees before joining the provincial program. Some nurses also spoke against that, saying they forced them to give up control over their business.

Shannon Shearer, the head of the living room in Vancouver, said she had received a drop in tuition fee in December two weeks late because she did not know that changing the age category of her facility would lead to delays.

Faced with a $ 6,000 deficit on December 1, he worried he would not be able to pay his staff before Christmas. She said her ministry staff proposed to tell her parents to pay her full cost for that month, and then pay them for the costs when the payment was delayed.

"I could not do this to families before the holidays," she said. "I have been kindergarten for 10 years and I have never had any problems with paying for the past. The lack of support from the ministry is really disappointing.

The other two children care providers also contacted Postmedia on payment delays, claiming that the ministry staff misrepresented the process of filing the claim, resulting in delays for which it was difficult to work.

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