Trojans childcare too expensive for students, says frustrated parent
SAIT’s on-campus childcare is too expensive, said parent-of-two Christie Page, an architectural technologies student.
“To have students paying $40 to drop our kids off on PD [professional development] days is ludicrous,” said Page.
The SAIT Trojans run a PD day program for families to utilize on days that kids don’t have school but parents still have to work.
The regular price for this program is $50 per child, per day, but last week the Trojans agreed to give SAIT students a 20 per cent discount, bringing the cost down to $40.
The discount is equal to what SAIT employees receive.
“I super appreciate it, but I want athletics to do better than that because $40 is still huge,” said Page.
“I think students should get less than the paid employees.”
Page said that from her point of view, SAIT already has the space to run the PD day program, so paying instructors seems to be the only significant cost.
Amanda Gill, the marketing and recreation program coordinator at SAIT, said the program does have to buy equipment such as craft supplies and employee uniforms.
“It’s a business,” said Gill.
“Childcare is a business. SAIT is a business. We’re not looking to make money out of this, but we do have to cover our costs.”
Gill said the children who participate in the program get to do activities such as swimming, arts and crafts, dodgeball, and even video games.
Gill said SAIT wants to have the best instructors, and to do that they need to be able to pay them a decent wage.
Instructors who work in the PD day program make $15 per hour, and the maximum ratio is 10 children to one instructor, said Gill.
If the cost of the program were to be lowered further for students, Gill said the program would begin to lose money.
“We have to be fiscally responsible too, just like students have to be fiscally responsible.”
“I super appreciate it, but I want athletics to do better than that because $40 is still huge,” said parent-of-two Christie Page, architectural technologies student.
Alysson Torres-Gillett, the vice president academic for SAITSA, said the association has been talking about subsidizing the PD day program, but it is still trying to figure out where the money would come from and how much would be needed to ensure that all students who need it receive it.
Torres-Gillett said more research is needed to find out how many SAIT students have school-aged children and would require a subsidy.
“I think collaboration is really important, and if we can work with the Trojans as much as possible, then 100 per cent we should do that,” said Torres-Gillet.
She added that SAITSA has been reaching out to the community to try and arrange partnerships and discounts with childcare facilities near SAIT.
Another possibility would be to put together a child care grant, but SAITSA doesn’t have the funds to support something like that, so the money would have to come from SAIT, said Torres-Gillet.
Page is the president of the SAIT Parents Club, which one can find more information on at facebook.com/SAITparents.