UBC-V GSS Proposed Policy Statement on Child Care
Policy Statement: Expanding Child Care Affordability & Availability at UBC-V
August 13, 2013
The GSS believes that the persistent low-availability & high-cost of child care places unfair challenges on graduate & other student families;
Despite historic gains making the UBC Community a North American leader in on-campus child care services, the average monthly cost to care for a two-year old child in British Columbia is at $850, the highest in Canada , adding to the already high-living costs & low affordability of living in Greater Vancouver, whose poverty line sits at $23, 498 for a single-parent with child.
Considering that the typical years of a “fast-track professional career” orientated individual - a student demographic both UBC & Government is encouraging students to emulate - conducts his or her graduate studies “during prime family formation and childbearing years” , often with both parents being graduate students with equally low-incomes. Graduate parents who have relocated for their studies also suffer from a lack of local family ties that prove invaluable for young parents.
Further compounding these factors, many child related tax credits are not immediately enjoyed by Graduate student parents until well after graduation due to their low-income, despite their demonstrated and acute need for child-care .
Further inequity exists between different types of Graduate funding, such as untaxed Tri-Council, UGF, or Vanier/Trudeau type awards compared to taxable income such as TA or RA positions places unequal burdens on different Graduate student parents. An individual awarded with a $50,000 per/annum Vanier scholarship could still qualify as a low-income student, despite being far better off with the typical graduate student who might - especially for graduate couples - exist on the cusp of not qualifying for various low-income grants or bursaries such as UBC’s Evelyn Lett Child Care Bursary.
With both UBC-V & government encouraging Doctoral students to quicken degree completion as well as furthering gender equality throughout the academic, public & private workforces then,
Be It Resolved That the UBC-V GSS :
- Lobby for a student-focused child care grant program be set up for student parents to take advantate of current tax-benefits in an immediate way, allowing them to trade-in eligble tax credits for said Grant in lieu of income.
- Pressure The University of British Columbia at Vancouver make the issue of quality, affordable & available child-care a continued priority, especially for its valued graduate & other young researchers. In order to become “a place of mind” conducive to pioneering research, young parents need some “peace of mind” so they can focus on teaching, writing, and researching during the day, leading to timely & successful completion of their graduate studies.
- Instruct staff to research Graduate Student demographics for UBC-V to demonstrate a quantifible need for increased access to affordable childcare.
- Follow through on #3 by costing out what the demonstrated need would cost to alleviate the worst of the demonstrated problem.