Subsidy changes make big difference for Cornwall mom

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Supporting Island families -

Alyse Rossiter is a single mom with three kids under 6. Her life is busy with a full-time job and the everyday responsibilities of parenting. She is solely responsible for the financial needs of her family and, even though she works, money is tight.  

However, Alyse says recent changes in child care subsidy program have been an immense help.

“I wouldn’t be able to work without the subsidy," she said, as she pushed 5-year-old Alyvia on a swing behind her daycare centre. "I wouldn’t be able to afford daycare without it. The changes have helped me a lot.”

An increase $300,000 in the province’s child-care subsidy program benefits more than 1,600 Island children and their families. Rates for before and after-school child care and private sitters have increased, and the monthly subsidy went up by $120 for eligible families.

Alyse says the changes also mean she can make a little bit more money and still qualify for the subsidy.

“Before, if I made a higher wage, I almost lost money in the end,” she explained. “This program lets me be a working member of society. I am very grateful we live in a country that does this for people.”

Paperwork has also been streamlined to make it less of a hassle for busy parents like Alyse. Now, she doesn’t have to provide a pay stub every month (which she had been doing monthly since 2012).

Alyse says it’s important for people to speak up and address issues that are important to them, like her friend Sam Guerette did when she attended public consultations on the changes last fall.

“Sam stood up for all the families that benefit from this program,” she said.

Guerette, whose children are now older, says applying for the subsidy before the changes “was not a bright and shiny experience for me. I wanted to take the opportunity to have my voice heard." 

So, when she attended the public information session, Sam says she took the opportunity to speak up and offer suggestions for chances to the program. 

"I was listening to CBC news and heard about changes that had been made to the program, and I thought ‘hey, those are my ideas!' I realized that I made a difference and I contributed something. It was very empowering.” ~ Sam Guerette

The provincial government is working to support Island families through programs and services, including recent changes to the child care subsidy program.

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