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