PhD Student Unfairly Denied Child Care Subsidy, Students Renew Call for Fair Subsidy Process

TORONTO, Feb. 13, 2012 /CNW/ - A York University PhD student has been denied a child care subsidy by the Region of Peel, who claim that the subsidy only applies to full-time students up to the level of a Masters. Reem Attieh, mother of two young children, has been paying $2,115 a month in child care fees and has been on the Region of Peel Region child care subsidy waiting list since August 2010.

"My husband and I lived with my parents until 6 months ago, it was the only way that we could afford to pay for child care costs" said Attieh. "For the last year and a half, I have kept in touch with my caseworker and have been told that only if I get a full-time job will I qualify. Without a child care subsidy, we can't afford to keep paying the high cost of child care."

In 2007, the Province of Ontario changed subsidy eligibility to be based on a family income. But Ministry of Education rules still state that families receiving a subsidy must be at work or school full-time. Last year, the Canadian Federation of Students ran a province-wide campaign for fair access to child care subsidies for students.

"I am shocked to hear of a full-time student denied a child care subsidy. The Region of Peel is unfairly targeting women students through the denial of much needed assistance," commented Cindy Brownlee, Mature and Part-Time Students Commissioner for the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "Thousands of students are studying part-time because they are parents and Minister of Education Laurel Broten needs to step in and clarify the rules so all student parents are eligible for a child care subsidy."

Child care subsidies are provincially funded and delivered by municipal and regional governments. There are currently 4,000 parents waiting for a child care subsidy in Peel region.

The Canadian Federation of Students unites more than 300,000 college and university undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of Ontario.

SOURCE Canadian Federation of Students

For further information:

Cindy Brownlee, Mature and Part-Time Students Commissioner: 416-931-2174 
Reem Attieh, York University PhD student: 416-925-3825

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