Thursday, June 11, 2020

Stop demonizing PRIVATE childcare operators

PSA for those who do not understand how childcare WORKS and a rant about those who continue to demonize 'private childcare' who should know how it works but do not seem to GET IT .... the stereo types around non profit being better verses private being substandard greedy villains drive me bonkers! 

I have listened to this rhetoric for 30 years working in the field for both non profit and private models and now operate my own private home based early learning program because after 17 years in 'licensed' sector I was just DONE with the constant changes that to me reduced the quality of the program with increased ratios and paperwork and policy that took time away from children and add little to no value to their actual early learning experience .... but I can tell you there is no PROFIT in Ontario childcare! If there were we would see childcare popping up beside every Tim Horton's and there would be no shortage of childcare! 

If there was a profit in childcare we would see business rise to meet it and being offering affordable childcare for ALL!

Reality is that regardless of the funding model we all operate under the same revenue cap of our license capacity as well as all face the same 'staffing' requirements under same licensing capacity and have the same fixed expenses around insurance requirements and other legislated expenses - so the only wiggle room for is for those things that are not FIXED - so their rent they might pay for their space and the ability to find 'money' not earned through their license - so fundraising or grants! 

I have worked for a non profit in my current region I live that paid me LESS than the private one I had left when I had to relocate ... and it was not a small non profit a 'chain' of over 14 centres. It was also very top heavy with 'management' positions that did very little for the 'front line' support.

The reality is that the only difference in private VS non profit is the priority that management/owners give to allocating funds they have to work with! There are non profits that divert disproportionate funds to management heavy salary positions so the front line has less resources and there are privately funded programs where the management is only the owner or the owner and a RECE supervisor and so there is more left for the front line!
And yes there are childcare programs where the 'owner' is rarely around but lets face it there are non profits where the 'Director' is rarely round either - they are out networking and doing other stuff so again BOTH models have management that are not hands on support to the front line but they also both have those who ARE ... again not the funding model but the HUMANS working in them! 

Non profits also have access to larger disproportionate funding from government, often they are able to secure FREE or REDUCED rent due to their charitable status, they get discounts on phone services and other services for same reason that reduce their overhead .... but yet there are still non profits that are poor quality programs because, and I will say this again for the people in the back, its not about the funding model its about the HEART/VALUES behind whose is running the program! And sadly there are people whose heart is in the wrong place in ALL models of childcare - just like in ANY profession there are those who excel and those who really should choose a different journey!

This post was sparked by someone comment that 'of course the greedy private childcare operators will be ready to open their programs on Friday' in face of the news this week that we can reopen as of tomorrow! IMO the far likely reason that 'privately owned' childcares might be ready to open this Friday is that they did not wait on the Ontario government to tell them what to do - they likely spent the last few months researching what every other country ahead of us was doing and started to formulate a plan and source the things they felt they were likely to need on their own because they have their heart and soul and all their own finances tied up in funding their childcare program and if it goes under they are not just out of a 'job' they are out their entire personal investment they have made! 

Honestly until all the people demonizing the private model want to step up and open NON PROFITS themselves can we please stop demonizing people who see a need in their community and rise to meet it .... the fact is that the challenge with operating a non profit is no one wants to VOLUNTEER to do all the hard work to get one up and running and to keep people sitting on the board that is required but yet they cast stones at those who see the need but want to be PAID for their hard work and the risk of their own funds and investment on an industry that has a capped revenue potential and go out of their way to try to make them drown with unfair funding and grants and campaigns .... you can invest in a Tim Hortons franchise or you can invest in opening a childcare centre in Ontario which one is the 'better investment' if all you are concerned about is sitting at home rolling in the PROFIT ... hence why there is a Tim Hortons on every corner and NOT a childcare centre 🙄
Rant over

Have a great day

Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
Be Totallyawake4-life

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