Monday , August 2 2021

Delaying the three-day payment led to a Christmas crisis for some BCs. daycares

Amanda Worms, the owner of day care at Kelowna, was forced to use a personal credit line and to borrow money from her parents when the government's payment did not arrive on time.

Photo submitted / PNG

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

"It's impossible to run a business this way," Okanagan's day-care provider said on Thursday. "If the government really wants to move into universal childcare, they need to join together."

In April, the province launched an initiative to reduce child care fees, which reduces the cost of living for up to $ 350 per month for each space, depending on the child's age and the type of child care. The money is paid directly to the daily payers, who transfer the savings together with the families. Operators must submit documents by the 20th month of each month to receive payment by the first day of the following month.

But in December and January, some payments were postponed for three days, leaving day-to-day operators at a difficult spot.

Worms, who run two child care centers in Kelowna with 250 seats each month, receive about $ 22,000 from the government instead of parental fees. She uses the money to pay the rent of two buildings, three small buses and staff.

"About $ 42,000 in expenses come from my account for the first month, not including the payroll," she explained. "In the past, we may have had one or two parents who are late with payment, but now the impact is multiplied."

Worms said he submitted the application for payment on December 20, before the deadline. When she did not see the money at the end of the month, she called the Ministry of Children and Family, and the employees said that the payment will arrive from December 31 to January 4.

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

In the end, one of its landlords agreed to wait a few days to pay the lease, while Worms covered the rest with her own personal credit line and help from her parents.

"The government said it was a" juvenile "delay, but that's not small," she said. "If they are late one day, it can cost me thousands of dollars."

It's not the first time that this happens. Worms said there were delays with the last three payments. Before the government program comes into force, if the family does not pay the fees, the day care operator could ask them not to return until the debt is settled.

"I can not tell them that they can not come because the government does not pay the fees."

Owner of day care for Amanda Worms.

Photo submitted /



In an email statement, a spokesman for the ministry said that "the number of legal holidays in December resulted in a short delay for some service providers."

The ministry has also pledged to do better by saying it will consider ways to improve the payment system to ensure that in "circumstances such as this, the funds are available early in the month to allow them to pay their staff or other related costs. "

The ministry was unable to provide "By the Media" with the number of daily subsistence operators who in January received the late payment. But the spokesman said that by December 24, 2,200 payments had been processed and the "majority" had received their money by January 1st.

When asked about late payments earlier this month, a ministry spokesman said some payments were also "delayed for several days" in December over "postponing new staff joining the childcare and legal holidays program".

A total of 2,600 childcare organizations have been approved to reduce child care fees – around 86 per cent of eligible organizations. The ministry has recently increased the number of employees who are considering applications.

But the program was not without criticism. In the spring, some parents noted minimal reductions in fees when some day care providers increased fees before joining the provincial program. Some day care services also opposed it, saying it led them to give up control of their businesses.

The Vancouver worker, Shannon Shearer, said she was paid a two-week salary reduction because she did not know that the change in the age category of her facility would lead to a delay.

Facing a $ 6,000 shortage on Dec. 1, she was worried she would not be able to pay staff before Christmas. She said ministry employees suggested that she tell parents to pay the full rate for the month, and then reimburse them when the late payment is due.

"I could not do that before the families before the holidays," she said. "I have been on duty for 10 years and I never had a payment problem before. The lack of support from the ministry was really disappointing."

Two other child care providers also contacted Postmedia about the delays in payment, arguing that they were misinformed about the application process by ministry employees, resulting in delays that made it difficult for them to work.

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