Kinesis, January 1974 Jan 1, 1974

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 &o  wemi COLLECTIONS  kinesis  Daycare  January  Vancouver Status of Women      2Q29W. Fourth Ave.      "736-3"74G-"7-8       Volume IV   No. 29  .   Happy -fdce.      S'hwS  day care   one year later  The NDP party plank of free 24 hour  day care for all children who need  it has apparently been abondoned.  However, within the past year some  progress towards meeting the need  for day care has been made.  In  Vancouver alone thirteen new day  care centres have been opened.  There are now a total of eight  centres which accept children under  three.  Provincial seed money has  been made available to community  members who want to set up day care  centres.  The new subsidy system is  much more comprehensive and realistic given the high cost of living.  The provincial government's Day  Care Information Centre is going  full blast and organizers from  that Centre are now available to  help community groups set up day  care.  This kind of progress relative to  what went on in the past is impressive, but let's not be lulled  into a false sense of security.  There's still a long way to go.  1.  Only about 6% of the children of working mothers in Vancouver have access to licensed,  supervised group day care—to say  nothing of all the children of  non-working mothers who need day  care for a multiplicity of  reasons.  Without going overboard  opening of new day care centres.  For example, an elementary school  about the merits of supervised  dav care, at least there is  potentially a greater measure of  protection afforded children than  in someone's clandestine cellar  operation.  2.  The quality of  most existing day care centres is  questionable.  3.  The bulk of  the under three centres were set  up by articulate university  educated perople accustomed to  dealing with bureaucracies and  winning over the immense obstacles  •set in their paths.  Children of  other parents too often lose out.  4.  An appalling number of parents  still don't know about the subsidy  system.  Little concerted effort  has been made to make non-English  speaking parents aware of what's  available.  5.  The busy signal  for hours on end is the usual  response of the Day Care Information Centre.  A/hen you finally get through, you  often are given another number to  phone, and the process is repeated.  6.  There are too few day care  organizers.  Day care consumers are  justifiably angry that they had no  role in the hiring of these organizers.  7.  Ridiculous licensing  requirements and sometimes just the  whims of the inspectors hang up the  agreed to provide free space,  utilities, equipment, janitorial  services and a fenced playground for  after-school day care.  This facility was not approved because the  principal refused to provide an  additional fence to fence off  participants in the after-school  program from other children who  might be playing on the grounds  after school.  This even though  these children presumably played  together during regular school hours.  8. Civil Services janitors make  over $650 per month.  Day care  personnel charged with are children  are lucky to make $200 less.  9. Women who do family day care in  their homes are paid no more than  $75.00 per child per month for a  maximum 10 hour day. This means that  even if a women is licensed for the  maximum of 5 children she makes less  than the minimum wage, in fact only  $1.75 per hour for the care of 5  children.  Wear and tear on the  house and furniture, increased  utilities and food are not compensated for in any way.  And these are just a handful of the  most pressing problems with day care.  There is a tendency among people who  don't have children or whose children are grown or even those who have  cont'd p.8 why we need what we need  In our society ideology rather  than reality determines the provision of services.  Nowhere is the  truth of this axiom more apparent  than in the area of day care.  Here, the prevailing idology is  that "Mother's place is in the  home" and that, consequently,  "Day care is rothing more than  an unfortunate episode, an  episode that cannot be justified  except in very special circumstances."  This kind of attitude  allows both government and  private sectors to shirk responsibility for the provision of  day care services and yet  remain morally unassailable.  Because the twin ideologies of  "Mother's place, in the home"  and "Day care, an evil to be  avoided" constitutes a major  stumbling block to the  provision of day care services  which are anything more than  merely adequate and sometimes  not even that, we need to  carefully examine the premises  upon which such an ideology is  predicated.  Too much emphasis  has been placed on what wc  need and not enough on why we  need what we need.  This becomes  apparent from the hesitancy  and halfheartednoss of government and private sectors to  provide the kind of day  care services children need.  Such reticence could not be  justified if any real understanding prevailed.  The concept that "Mother's place  is in the home" is based on  three major assumptions:  Mother can afford--in purely  financial terms, of course-  to stay in the heme.  Family  stability is such as to  guarantee the continuance of  that home.  Finally, there is  something sacrosanct about the  mother-child relationship which  enables the child to gain more  from that single relationship  than from any other kind of  interaction.  dan mother afford to remain at  home?  Increasingly, unemployment and inflation make this for  women a pipe dream.  The 35% of  all mothers who do in fact work,  the bulk of these from economic  necessity, prove the point.  The  popular stereotypes of women  working for second incomes to  provide luxuries like color TVs  and mink coats is just one more  myth that needs to be exploded, a  myth so pervasive that even  mothers who work from necessity  still believe that their contribution is of secondary importance.  Can mother afford to remain at  home?  Only if she is privy to  above average income, prepared  for a bare existence on welfare  or reconciled to the sacrifice of  what most Canadians take for  granted.  Comparison-of statistics  on average family income in Canada  and the cost of living leave  little room for doubt.  Family stability is increasingly  tenuous.  The contemporary  Canadian marriage is a gamble whe  the odds are not very appealing.  The. legions of single parents,  the widowed, the separated, and  divorced attest to the  precariousness of mother's place  in the home.  The instability of modern marriage  and the economic realities of life  in Canada cannot be wished away.  Failure to provide adequate day  care facilities will not change  the reality to conform with the  ideology that marriage should last  forever and that every man's  income should be adequate to meet  his family's needs.  However, to concentrate solely on  provisions of day care services as  a means of dealing with economic  reality falls into the trap of  perceiving day care merely as a  necessary evil and is at best  cowardly because day care can be  so much more.  Cowardice lies in failing to meet  the needs of children because  of the fear of not being able to  face pressures exerted by a public  not yet ready for reality.  Where  children are concerned half-measure;  aren't good enough.  In order to support the suggestion  that day care can be a good in and  of itself, an examination of the  kind of relationships which prevail  when mother can afford to stay  home with her child is imperative.  To do this both rhetoric and rose-  colored glasses must be discarded.  Otherwise, what ought to becomes  confused with what is.  As a  consequence, clues to reality go  ignored because clues conflicting  with.a value system which says  things should be otherwise are  threatening.  The specialness of the mother-  child relationship cannot be  denied, but the idea that the  mere physiological process of  birth automatically endows a  woman with all the special  skills and abilities necessary  to child care is naive.  Moreover, socialization is not  something which transpires in  a vacuum.  The performance of  even the finest mother is  influenced by factors beyond  her control.  What these' factors  are needs to be made apparent.  THE JANUARY GENERAL MEETING will be  held on Tuesday, January 15, at ?:30  PM in the Board Room of the YWCA, 550  Burrard Street.  A PANEL ON DAYCARE  will begin at 7:30 followed by a general business meeting.  See you then.  The Newslette is published monthly by the Vancouver St  Status of Women.  Its objective is to provide an open  channel of communication between the members of the  organization and to promote understanding about the  changing position of women in society.  The Newsletter  is dedicated to a philosophy consistent with the women';  movement.  Publication Date:  The first week of each month.  Copy Deadline:  The ]5th of the previous month.  Registration:  The Newsletter is provided as a service  to members of VSW in good standing.  Membership is ac  quired by an annual donation.  In determining your  donation we ask you to balance your own financial pos-  sition and the fact that the Newsletter costs approximately $3.00 a year per person to print and mail.  Publishing costs require that membership donations be  prepaid and up to date.  Other donations to meet publishing costs gratefully received.  Cost per single issue:  25c.  Editorial Committee:  Susan Germaine, Kathy Sopko, Janice  Booth, Jo Lazenby, Ruth Calder, Eloah Giacomelli, Sue  Bridge, Coreen Lindquist, Monica Mui.  Graphics:  Kathy Sopko and Monica Mui.  The Newsletter is produced by volunteer labour and printed  by College Printers.  Submissions:  The newsletter welcomes submissions from  members and will consider those from non-members.  All  submissions, including letters to the editorial committee,  must be accompanied by the writer's name and address.  Pseudonyms will be used where requested.  Where necessary,  the editorial committee will edit for brevity, clarity and  taste.  Correspondence: Send to:  The Vancouver Status of Women,  2029 W. 4th Avenue, Vancouver 9, B.C.  Telephone:  736-3746. Confining the child with the  mother in the home has implications for the child:  (1)  The child becomes dependent on the mother,  sometimes even to the  point of fearing the  father.  If anything  happens to the mother, the  child is. threatened indeed.  The mobility of young  couples which divorces families from each other accen  tuates the situation becaus-  geography prevents relative;  from playing a mitigating  role.  A highly mobile,  isolated, busy mother may  have few friends or little  time to devote to them for  friends to compensate.  The child learns to perceive  others as threatening because exposure to strangers  becomes an alien experience.  No basis for trusting strangers is established rather  than the opposite.  Mistrust  finds expression in such  phenomena as "making strange"  and prolonged tears when the  child is left with a babysitter.  The physical structures of  modern living arrangements  provide limited access to the  outdoors.  Safety precludes  anything but supervised outdoor play which a busy mother  may not have time to provide.  The child is at the complete  mercy of the mother.  There  is no provision for outside  intervention unless the situation has reached a crises,  and then it is to late.  A not surprising fact, yet  one that is easy to overlook,  is that those most likely to  engage in child abuse arc  those who spend the most time  with children.  In our society  mothers bear the greatest  responsibility for child care,  and mothers boar the responsibility for more than fifty  percent of all reported  cases of child abuse.  Mothers  succumb to pressure engendered  by having to play simultaneously such roles as "Fastidious  Homemaker", "Always Available  Wife" and "Long Suffering  Mother".  Usually, the position of the  child in the home is not dire,  but potential does exist for  the child to become scapegoat  to the mother's frustrations.  The potential for psychic  maiming is enormous and is not  trivial merely because such  damage is not visible.  The mother may not be equipped  to provide exposure to alternative ways of living.  The  child emerges with a very  restricted world view.  Indoctrination in ways of living  which are no longer valid in  a changing world such as  conspicuous consumption,  aggression appropriate to  'ñ† pioneer days and rigid sex  role stereotyping is a  pernicious social influence.  fytugedi  Demograph  smaller n  neighborh  children  The fasci  with othe  The lonel  deprived  inescapab  confrente  "There's  play with  other chi  adults n  1C  hanges  ean  playmate .  the gap o:  other childre:  uclear families  oods bereft of  of the same age.  nation of childn  r children is ev  iness of childre:  of other childre:  le.  What parent  d with the plain  nobody for me to  Children nee.  Idren just like  ed other adults.  conscientious ad'  totally f:  has  tive  the  bsence  An adjunct to loneliness is  boredom. Adults with their  albeit idealized memories of  an active childhood "when we  made our own fun" get annoyed  by children who whine "what  can I do today?  I've got  nothing to do".  What adults  ignore is that twenty years  ago the higher birth rate  meant there was more likely  someone to have fun with  and that physical structures  and a simpler society were  much more conducive to  outdoor play.  (8)  The child is divorced from  father and his world as well  as the world of men in general  unless father has both the  inclination to engage actively in child care as well as  the kind of employment which  permits him to assume this  role.  cont. next page why.  Immigrant children find themselves retarded in their  assimilation of English, and  therefore, handicapped in  school if they must w^it  till age five to begin  lea  The range of toys and access  to creative experiences of  the average home simply cannot compete with the equipment  of the average day care  centre.  Moreover, the child  without playmates or siblings  of an age or much access to  the outdoors may need mora  of both.  (10) The busy mother burdened by  domestic responsibilities may  have little time to give  undivided attention to the  child.  Heresy it may be,  but the average mother spends  only 20 minutes per day  actually giving time to her  child.  Are 20 minutes per  day of undivided attention  all that a child requires?  (11) The child isolated in the  home has few opportunities to  learn to share or to partici-  page in a group, few opportunities to cooperate with  others or to learn skills of  group interaction.  (12) The potential of each child  may not be developed by the  mother.  The mother's subjectivity may render her unable  to ferret out her child's  capabilities, capitalize on  talents or compensate for  liabilities in the same way  that a sensitive, objective,  experienced, trained professional may be.1  After all,  every mother begins as an  amateur with vested interests,  and all amateurs begin with  the disadvantages of inexperience.  Experience as an  babysitter is not analogous  to being a full-time mother.  SW^V,  mg.  The wishes of the child are  not taken into consideration.  Children are naturally  conservative and, consequently  will prefer to stay home if  this is all they have ever  known.  However, how many  children given exposure to an  excellent day care centre  would opt to stay home?  Is  the dependency of children  on their mothers something  that is carefully nurtured by  women because society permits  them no other role and the  consequences of no longer  being needed are personally  disastrous?  If the needs  of children are paramount,  why not ask them what they  want?  Day care  provides an  opportuni  ty to detect problems  early in  the child's develop-  m«nt,  To  n often these  problems  aren't detected  until the  child enters  school.  1.  The terms "trained" and  "professionals" are used  here with reservation as the  conventional definitions are  not intended.  "Trained" is  used in this sense to apply  to anyone who has had experiences academic or otherwise  which culminated in proficiency in enabling children to  fulfill their fullest potential.  A "professional" is  anyone who demonstrates this  capacity irrespective of  paper qualifications.  ^osFSMj  TRANSITION HOUSE OPENS  4828-30 Victoria Drive, Vancouver,  is the address of Vancouver's first  Transition House which opened in  time for Christmas.  The house is open 24 hours, 7 days  a week with two staff members present on each shift to help the women  and children. »  The purpose of the house is to  provide support for women with  children in crisis in the form of  shelter, food, referral to social  agencies such as Children's Aid  Society, Family Services, Welfare,  Manpower, Legal Aid, etc.  The  philosophy of the staff and committee is to help women in crisis  to re-establish their lives and  become independent people.  Money for the house is guaranteed  through the Children's Aid Society until March 31st when C.A.S.  will be taken over by the Vancouver Resource Board, which will  hopefully honour the C.A.S. Transition House contract.  Volunteer workers are greatly  needed to help in all areas of the  running of the House.  Anyone interested in helping please call  Pam Smith at the Status of  Women of 736-3746 .  Happy New Year!  —Janice Booth  DAY CARE IS OKAY, STUDY SHOWS  A research project of the University of Kentucky has exploded  the myth that working mothers  who leave their children in day  care centres are depriving them.  According to an American Press  report carried in The Vancouver  Sun, December 5, Dr. Richard  Winett said  the study revealed  that children who attend day care  centres do not differ socially or  mentally from children who are cared  for my their mothers at home.  Children, he said, are not harmed  by outside child care arrangements  although family relationships do  tend to change.  One result is that  fathers of-day care children tend  to become more involved with the  children.  ftB J U\ on-  extend the family.  A friend of mine who, incidentally,  raised five normal children, once  said to me, "Sometimes my children  can't stand me and the feeling is  mutual.  At those times I feel  they should be able to go and  stay with someone else for a  while, for the good of us all."  What my friend was envisaging was  a loose extension of the nuclear  family.  She felt that just as her  children didn't 'own' her, neither  did she 'own' them and if they,  for any reason, didn't happen to  be getting along with her they should  be able to go and stay with someone they did get along with.  She was serious.  Scandalous?  In fact, the basic  idea is not new, although the  dilemma--of her children not having  anyone else to go to--is.  In days not too long ago where  mother and father and grandparents  and sometimes even aunts and uncles  and cousins shared family responsibilities, children had a much  better deal.  They had the  benefit of several adult models--  rather than one.all of the time  and another part-time--and peers.  Mothering wasn't regarded as the  exclusive responsibility of  mother.  There were usually always  other adults from whom a child .  took guidance and direction and  to whom the child looked for  example.  That structure, with the rare  exception, no longer exists and  now children grow up in,families  where, at best, they can relate  to only two adults--one fulltime  and the other part time.  As the  trend towards family breakdown  becomes more common, the  situation frequently is that there  is only one dominating adult  influence for the first six years  of a child's life.  This, we have been led to believe  by the Ladies Home Journal philosophy, is well and good.  It fulfills both woman's function and  child's need.  Children need their  mothers all, the time.  If  mother isn't there all of the time,  if she "farms" out her children  to someone else's care, they will  grow up thwarted delinquents.  Right?  Of course not.  In fact, for all  of this supposed family bliss,  child delinquency and alienation  is on the increase.  It would be  wrong, however, to blame mothers  for this trend.  The mitigating  factors are probably many and  it's very possible that one of  those is that fathers have been  in the picture less than any  other time, barring wartime.  We  are also just now beginning to  discover that mothers have been  frustrated by the situation,  seeing it through only because  Lhey thought it was for the good  of the children.  All of that  stifled frustration may have  something to do with it.  But if  our children are not actually  turning into alienated youth,  are they as well-adjusted and  self-reliant after six years of  private tutoring as they might be?  Well, that's difficult to  determine.  But I think we might  reconsider the romantic notion  that mother is best and only  mother with the occasional help  from dad.  I think we have been  so caught up in this notion that  we're not good parents unless we  take full responsibility for the  upbringing of our children that  we have not seen what may well  be the reality of the situation:  that a one-to-one relationship  can be pretty stifling over a  period of time; that in restricting  a child's contact with other  adults and.depriving him/her of  other good and alternative adult  models, we tend to recreate self-  images rather than individuals.  I am not suggesting that we do away  with parents—only that- we create  more options for car children by  providing more adult models--  more than mother and father.  But it's a little late to be  hauling the relatives back  into the family home.  Day care--good day care—can fill  that gap.  Day care that is warm,  sensitive and loving, that  involves parents as much as  possible, that offers both female  and male models, can, I think, be  an enriching experience for a child.  It would require a change in  attitude that placing children  in day care centres is an act of  abandonment by the parents.  I am, of course, suggesting a more  communal or community, if you like,  approach to child raising and a  social responsibility for it  rather than a strictly parental  one.  Recently an otherwise intelligent  father asked me what kind of mothers  would willingly leave their children in day care centres when they  don't have to (meaning they don't  have to work).  It reminded me  again of the siigma against day  care—a stigma that says if you  "farm" your kids into day care  you obviously don't love them  very much.  I think we need to  look at day care with a new,  positive vision.  —S.G. A Community Model:  Parents &  Professionals Share  the child cane centre: two portraits  This article was written  with the assistance of  Nancy Teng, Co-ordinator  for the Day Care Council  at the University of  British Columbia, and  Monica Mitchell, Assistant  Supervisor of Tillicum  Day care.  Statistical  data was drawn from the  "Report to the Social  Services Committee"  (submitted Nov.13/73).  I approached the Day Care complex  at the University of British Columbia  with the intention of finding out how  this service has been set up, while  other centres in Greater Vancouver  have not been as successful in their  efforts.  The initial problems associated with  establishing day care centres appear  to be twofold:  finding a suitable  location for a centre, and financing  this project.  If these two major hurdles can be  overcome there is the further problem  of making this service an indispen-  sible part of the community.  From my observations of the UBC Day  Care program, many preconceived  notions about the answers to these  problems were shattered.  I expected  to find the strong support of the  university as the initial stepping-  stone for its success, and this was  true in part.  The intense need for  a day care on campus was undoubtedly  the motivating force.  My enquiry-revealed a strong but  simple organization within each day  care centre, and a policy of direct  patent participation.  To simplify  this report I examined in detail one  day care centre called Tillicum,  which has a very similar program to  the seven other centres on campus.  Each day care tries to preserve its  identity.  Tillicum is the third centre for  children between the ages of three  to five years to be establshed at  UBC since 1967.  It is situated in  the Acadian Camp complex and is  described as a parent co-op.  One  year ago, after much effort, several  foundations, including some faculties at the university and a gift  from the graduating class made it  possible to set up Tillicum. The  university administration provides  space, and rent for the building  is free.  The provincial government gave Tillicum grant money to  buy equipment and toys, and for  rennovating the centre to meet  provincial licencing requirements.  Parent's rennovated the building  as much as possible, cutting down  labor costs.  Parents  Twenty children are now enrolled  in Tillicum, and are supervised  by 2 full-time staff.  The centre  is structured to involve parents  in all aspects of Tillicum -  admissions, communication,  finance, etc.  Tillicum functions  autonomously now, and had the  advantage of being provided with  ^&c  T~-f  A  £^9^^^,^*^^^^  space by the university, free of  charge.  Parents pay dues for  their children according to a  provincial government fee schedule, which depends upon the  number of people in a family &  the income.  One role of a "Co-ordinator for  the University Day Care Council"  is to provide more effective  liason with the centres.  Nancy Teng, who holds this  position of Co-ordinator, assists  the centres in admission procedures.  She has also recently  drawn up a substitute list of  trained day care supervisors,  who are willing to work on  short notice.  In order to register a child in  Tillicum Day Care, one of the parents  must have a direct association  with the university, such as being  on faculty, staff, or a student.  The day care centres on campus are  open only to this well-defined  community.  Like all day care centres  in operation now, there is a long  waiting list for registering children  and although there is a turnover in  April and September, there are still  disappointments.  Of the twenty children at Tillicum,  25% are from single parent families,  which is higher than the "Report to  Social Services Committee" show in  their statistics.  (They indicate  from 5-9% of the population with  children in this area come from  single-parent families).  Having  this day care service allows the  single parent to feel secure in  knowing that their child is being  well taken care of while they are  working or pursuing an educational  goal.  While I was visiting Tillicum to  talk with Monica Mitchell, an  assistant supervisor who works on  a full-time basis, the atmosphere  changed from moment to moment.  Children played in all areas of  the centre,.with toys, wooden  imagination boxes piled and stacked  on parts of the floor.  They ran  after one another, and took part  in an infinite variety of magical  adventures children can think up.  Monica commented, in between  soothing children and keeping an  eye on twenty little people, that  no emphasis is put on "masculine-  feminine' roles - children of both  sexes play house and take part in  cooperative games.  I observed another, smaller room  where the children could go if  they were tired, or wanted to listen to music on the record player,  or a story.  That sounded like a  logical idea to me.  Supervising with Monica during the  interval I visited Tillicum was a  parent.  One of the stipulations  of admitting your child to Tillicum  is a committment to supervise for  2± hours per week.  This particular  parent really involved himself with  the children, playing the piano encouraging them to sing along, talking quietly with them, smiling and  hugging them.  It is easy to see  the emotional involvement that  would come with supervising the  children.  The scheduled time is  not so demanding that it would  significantly interfere with working or studying time.  The children appeared to be excited'about  the presence of this man, although  it was not apparent to me just  exactly whose child was his, he  gave so much attention to them all.  Monica showed me the playground  just outside the door, where the  ,children play on nice days.  It had  plenty of space and challenged the  imagination.  Apparently each  centre has built its own playground  separately, one with a tree-house,  another with a big sand area.  Once  a month each child accompanies  Monica or another supervisor to a  branch of the Vancouver Public  Library for a field trip.  The success of this type of day  care program seems to stem from  '■three areas. A strong organizational structure where parents  are able to modify the programs  and plan future projects through  their representation on the Day  Care Council.  The parent participation program allows parents to  see the kind of service that their  child is involved in and exposes  the children to many new faces  and personalities.  Lastly, the  day care service is available to  a well-defined community.  As  the necessity for day care has  become apparent through its success and demand for even further  facilities, the university  administration has offered more  of its support to the programs.  And, of course, the most important of all are the beneficial  effects on the children.  They  see that their parents care about  a program that is important to  them.  They do not lose contact  with their parents, and see more  children to play with and stimulate them.  Mothers or fathers  who wish to choose work or  school for reasons of independence,  necessity, etc., now have an alternative offered to them in the  form of a day care service that does  not isolate them from their child.  Susan Bridge  The Private Home Situation? Loving  and Warm  The following interview took place  with a Day Care Teacher, who received her certificate from the University of British Columbia Day Care  Program, and who now works in a day  care centre in Vancouver.  How did the. day cans, centre that you  wonk faofi come, about and what li> the  building like?  "It is a private home of a woman who  has a great love for children and a  grown-up daughter of her own.  She  felt a great importance and saw the  need of day care centres for both  child and mother.  She tried opening  her home as a day care centre but  ran into many problems with the  government because of finicky requirements .  After trying again and  again she finally received permission to run a day care centre with  a government subsidy after remodeling her home to suit government specifications.  How many children and teacheu do you  have.?  "There are twelve children, aged  three years to five years.  They  arrive about eight in the morning  and stay until about four in the  evening, depending upon the parents.  One teacher is there in the morning  four hours with the children (but  stays on to do bookkeeping, ordering of supplies, going to the  library for books and buying toys).  The other teacher carries on until  all the children have left.  Two  adults (with no previous experience)  were sent from Welfare to help four  each day.  I don't understand how  the government can afford to keep so  many people on welfare but won't  give such a necessary situation as  day care enough funds to run properly.  Some of the other places I have  worked had to close down because  they couldn't afford to run just  from government funds.  One house-  cleaning woman is supposed to be  hired to clean once a week (government regulation) but due to insufficient funds from the government  we can't affort it, and the other  teacher and I have to do the cleaning everyday when the children have  gone.  The two helpers don't want  to stay and clean because they  don't get paid for working overtime.  I can't imagine only cleaning once  a week, not with twelve children.  I like to set a good example of  having things clean and tidy; after  all we're their mothers all day  long."  How much do you get paid an houh.1  "$3.00 per hour, but they can't  afford to pay me overtime.  I don't  mind though.  I love all the children and I feel that I am doing an  important service to society and  to the mothers and fathers of the  children."  That buingts ui> to another point.  Vo any o{> the. Children come. ^  bn.oh.en komeA?  "Yes, almost all of them. Some of  them are affected by it, some  aren't; it depends on the child's  personality and environment.  This TWO PORTRAITS cont'd  is one of the very important reasons  day care should be more plentiful.  A child needs to adjust to this big  change in life and the day care  helps fulfill this requirement.  Qualified teachers can be watchful fo developments in the child  that should be talked over with  the parent. We are building up a  library of excellent books about  child development for the parents  to come and brouse through and we  help with the selection depending  on the problems of the child.  Most important of all     the child  feels welcome and normal in the day  care centre; they learn to get along  with each other and respect one another. A lot of the problems a  child brings in to the centre when  he starts, such as aggressiveness,  fighting or withdrawal seem to disappear after a few weeks. That statement stands for all the children no  matter what their homelife. The  day care centre is so wonderful for  mothers who want to develop themselves, have a career, go to university or whatever; they know they'll  have so much more love to give their  children instead of just frustration  caused by being tied to the house  twenty-four hours a day. I'm speaking from experience, I have two  grown daughters and I feel I could  have prepared them for school and  life itself much better, if they  could have been in day care. They  both found 1st grade difficult due  to being tied to my apron strings  for five years.  But so many years  ago society seemed to point a finger  at mothers who couldn't take care of  their children all day long year  after year. Now people and opinions  are changing and I think we will all  benefit from it."  Could you give. me. a mm. down o^ youh.  avemxge. day?  "Well, they all arrive around 8:00  a.m.  They start right in playing,  painting, etc., whatever the child  wants to do.  Later on we all go for  a walk or play in the yard.  Lunch  time comes very quickly; they all  have a lunch brought from home.  We  all put out placemats and set out  the lunches and sit down to eat.  I then read them a story and show  the pictures around.  They lie down  on matts to have a nap for an hour.  In the afternoon they play outside  or inside depending on the weather.  They have a snack and talk about  different things or have a show and  tell.  Then they start their playing.  The parents arrive to take  them home.  We indicate that conversations with the parents and us  are always welcome."  1-6 tlieme. anything>e. you ieel you  would like, to add?  "Yes, that all the children love to  be with us, and take home their  paintings and crafts they have made  during the day. The parents are  pleased and I think we all benefit  from our day care centre."  Postscript  I started out to compare a couple of  day care centres in Vancouver  but after interviewing a mother from  the east end whose three year old boy  goes to a day care centre in their  vicinity, and others, I realized the  day care centres were quite similar.  I did speak to one mother who lives  in a high rise apartment with only  parents and children living there and  they seemed to have an excellent arrangement.  They have a very large  playroom which is open to all children from ages 1 to 5, two days a  week for two hours.  Each mother  takes her turn looking after the  children for that time period.  Everyone gives 50c a year for new toys.  They are all very pleased with this  arrangement.  Coreen Lindquist.  TtiSW'Rjsw  A YEAR LATER... .from pJ  found a satisfactory  solution  for  their own day care problems  to dismiss  day  care  as  an issue  that doesn't  effect  them.     This view is  shortsighted.     We  are  all eventually  dependent on the services  of  those  younger  than us  and  on  the  services  of other people's  children.   The  question  is  if we  choose  to  ignore  children's needs now what  can we  expect from them in  the future?  Roberta  notices  INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS  A six week group program on Interpersonal Communication Skills emphasizing self-awareness will meet weekly  for 1 1/2 to 2 hours beginning at 7 PM  on Monday evenings at the VSW downstairs office.  To register call Helen  Stolte at 228-0530 or Eileen Hendry at  733-0991.  The course begins January  21, 1974 and will be limited to 10  women.  WOMEN'S STUDIES COURSE AT VCC  The interdisciplinary course, "Perspectives on Women" (Psych 195) is offered  for college credit at Vancouver City  College (Langara) and for transfer  credit to SFU.  The course includes  Seminars related to four disciplines;  psychology, sociology, anthropology and  literature.  Presentations by women active in the movement in B.C., films and  panel discussions are included.  Register January 2,3,4 at the college.  324-  5511.  The class meets Monday and Wednesday from 6:45 to 8:15.  EDUCATION AND REASEARCH  There will be a meeting on Thursday,  January 10th at 8 pm in the VSW office for all those interested in  working on specific projects in the  areas of education and research.  The  new LIP grant makes provision for a  wide rante of activities concerned  with children's education in general  and sex-role development in particular.  We shall outline the nature of  these projects in detail at this meeting.  If you have ideas for research  into any area involving the status  of women, we shall be eager to talk  about them at this time.  Please call Ruth, Nadine or Sheila at  the office for any additional information.  WOMAN ALIVE  The T.V. group has set a tentative schedule for the spring and  is beginning work on programmes.  If anyone is interested in any  aspect of these, please call  Glinda at the office.  Transportation:  Would anyone have  a car and time to help transport  T.V. equipment for Woman Alive?  Contact Glinda.  There will be a session (workshop)  on parliamentary procedure, specifically to inform women (and men)  about the workings of administrations,  etc.  The purpose - to give women  more confidence to apply for administrative positions in teaching or in  any area of work, e.g.,politics. The  workshop will be held on Wednesday,  January 23, at 8 pm in the BCTF  Auditorium, 2325 Burrard St. and will  be conducted by Bob Buzza, General  Sec'y. of the BCTF.  All are welcome.  No entry fee.  For further info, call  Linda Shuto at the BCTF. women and welfare  We start out with the stark fact that  60% of welfare recipients in this province are women - in welfare idiom, they  have the sterile title of 'female heads  of families'.  To balance this tragically large percentage of women as recipients, one would  expect to find a respectable number of  women in responsible positions ,in the  upper echelons of the welfare system. It  probably comes as no surprise to anyone  that, in fact, males play the dominant  role in decision-making, and that the  result of this dominance is a sexist  welfare system.  Pleading through the staff list for the  Victoria side of the welfare monolith,  the pattern repeats itself ad nauseam:  Minister - male, Secretary - female;  Deputy Minister - male, Secretary - female; Assistant Deputy - male, Secretary -  female; Director of Programmes - male,  Secretary - female; Director of Operations - male, Secretary - female; Dept.  Comptroller - male, Secretary - female.  Exclusive of the minister and his male  executive assistants, all lof whom have  been appointed since August 30th, 1972,  there are about 31 senior positions in  general administration and various divisions, not including regional staff.  Of these, only seven are held by women.  These seven include key positions in  Adoption, Children-In-Care, Day Care  and the like.  With one or two exceptions, the 'anatomy is destiny' syndrome  applies - the Victoria side of the welfare department resembles nothing so  much as a grotesque playhouse, with the  male making the major decisions on finance and programming, while the female  of the species attends to the children  and keeps his life, and his paperwork,  ordered and serene.  Moving out from Victoria and into the  nine regional districts of the province,  we find that eight of the nine regional  directors are male - and just to ensure  that the Victoria pattern is not disturbed, all secretaries listed are  female.  From the latest staff list that  I have, I discover that in the provincial  welfare offices, 33 supervisors are male,  8 are female.  In the 12 municipalities  which have set up their own social service  departments, there are 12 administrators,  all of them male.  Here in Vancouver,  all senior positions in the office at  1530 West 8th, with the exception of the  training coordinator are held by - you  guessed it, males!  With this preponderance of males, however  well-intentioned most of them are, it  comes as no surprise that the female  welfare recipient finishes a poor second  in her running battle with welfare regulations.  Recently the provincial government distributed a handbook on welfare regulations  prepared and published by Dunsky Advertising.  Let us just glance at one or two  regulations as they affect women.  First of all, the regulations state, "In  all marriages, the head of the family  must be eligible if the family is to  receive social assistance.  In common law  relationships, the common law husband is  considered the head of the family...The  husband or head of the family should  apply."  'Ģi-m  What this bit of puffery really means is  that wherever there is a man in the picture, he shall be considered the head of  the family.  For families in receipt of  social assistance, it is the man who must  apply and it is the man to whom the cheque  will be issued - although, as a matter of  fact, the woman may be the real strength  in the family, with the husband an alcoholic, a psychotic or just plain irrelevant in the family structure. The male  is automatically head of the family until  proven, often by painful experience, to  be otherwise.  More than this, women on welfare who wish  to establish any kind of relationship  with a man, whether it is one of 'living  in' or simply one of 'going out' face  loss of the only financial security they  have - their social assistance cheque.  At the present time, if a man moves in  with a woman on social assistance, he  must assume total support for her and her  children.  I know any number of cases  where a woman, -in order for her and her  children to have a loving male in the  home, has dropped social assistance and  gone to work, often at the minimum wage,  although all her instincts tell her that  her children need her at home.  She is  working, not from choice but from a  bitter necessity.  I know other women, many of them, who  are hiding the fact of a living in relationship with a man.  They are forever  on the brink of a nervous breakdown because they know that on the basis of present regulations, they are guilty of  fraud.  I know other women who have a  going out relationship with a male - and  are subjected to constant scrutiny by  workers who appear to be convinced that  if a man takes a female recipient to a  movie, it follows as the day the night  that he is slipping her money on the  side, presumably for services rendered.  We pay lip service to the dictum that low  income people must organize themselves  into a pressure group.  This is pie-in-  the-sky talk.  It is pie-in-the-sky talk  largely because 60% of welfare recipients  are women, many of whom want nothing more  than to fade into the woodwork - they  have something to hide.  It is, as often  as not, something as innocuous as a weekly  phone call from a male, but this can be  enough to make their life one long harassment.  Thanks to welfare regulations, that  weekly phone call can threaten the very  bread on their tables.  A group of welfare mothers, rejecting  the principle that a woman's body is a  fixed commodity in the welfare table of  eligibility suggested a simple enough solution to the minister.  The regulations,  they feel, should read, "In all marriages,  the head of the family may be the husband  or wife, whichever is the most convenient.  In non-marriage situations, the head of  the family shall be deemed to be the parent of the children involved and the other  party shall be deemed to be a boarder."  It goes without saying that where a living  in relationship is not involved, everybody  including welfare workers should consider  the course of true love off-limits.  Male  recipients do not normally receive harassment about their friendships with the opposite sex, female recipients ask only  eaual treatment.  cont next page 10  Another regulation reads harmlessly  enough: "If you are separated, you will  be required to make application for a  maintenance order...through family court."  In fact, time after time, women are told  by the welfare department, "Lay a charge  or starve."  Let me give one example - it is typical  of many hundred across the province.  Laura, mother of five, deaf, Grade 4  education, developed a living in relationship with Don, who was already supporting  five children from a legal marriage.  After living with Laura for over two years  and supporting her family, Don separated  from her.  The separation was amicable.  By this time, Laura had given birth to  his son.  On applying for social assistance, Laura was told that she must lay a  complaint for support for Don's child or  she would be refused assistance.  Cornered, she laid the charge and thereby  became the villain of the charade.  Don  retaliated by ceasing to visit the children, who loved him, and by threatening to  remove the furniture which was his, and  which he had left for the family.  Laura  was reduced to going from one agency to  another for free legal advice, trailing  her small children behind her.  It would  have been a simple enough matter for the  department to lay the complaint but  Laura, when she requested this, was told  that regulations required her to do this  little job herself.  The department cannot weasel out by saying that about 50% of its social workers  are women or that, here in Vancouver,  most of the supervisors are women.  The  bleak fact remains that policy is decided  by men and, where women administer that  policy, they do very much as they are  told or they very soon become another  digit in the ranks of the unemployed.  The Real Poverty Report said it first:  "To be poor in our society is to suffer  , the most outrageous kinds of violence  perpetrated by human beings on other  human beings."  In the pecking order that  is our welfare system, if you are a  female recipient, the violence is beyond  words.  - Bridget A. Moran  .manpower.  WESTERN CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS MEET WITH MANPOWER MINISTER  On December 13, Pat Thorn, Western  'ĢConverence Committee Chairperson,  Betsy Mac Donald, a pre-employment  training course instructor at Vancouver City College, and I, Alice  James met with Mr. Andras and three  of his advisors.  We presented him  with a brief on behalf of the Wes  tern Conference - Opportunities for  Women which was co-sponsored by the  Vancouver Status of Women.  The  brief charged  the Department of  Manpower with assisting employers  to exploit women.  It pointed out  that counselling, training and  placement practices perpetuate  women's second class status and  called for restructuring the department to recognize the fact  that because women still have the  chief responsibility for child  care that women's lives follow  different patterns from men's.  During the two hour meeting, Mr.  Andras told us about his plans  for restructuring his department  and took note of our suggestions  for ensuring it would be more relevant to women's needs.  He also  told us of his plans for retraining all Canada Manpower counsellors to be more sensitive to the  needs of female clients.  We expressed our doubts as to whether  this would be adequate.  As a result  he committed his department to establishing a special experimental  counselling service for women in  the Vancouver Canada Manpower  Centre as soon as the open job  listing system in that centre was  completed.  We were favourably  impressed with the open exchange  of information, the willingness of  both the Minister and his advisors  to listen to our suggestions and  their sincerity in wishing to improve their services.  There is  also evidence that Mr. Andras  recognizes that the change in attitude on the part of Manpower employees will not come about easily in  that he invites and expects criticism  from women for some time to come.  Alice James  loans  WOMAN REFUSED CANADA STUDENT LOAN  This fall, Ms. Jacqueline Vale was  refused a Student Loan, even though  her application information clearly  showed that expenses would well exceed family income. Her appeal was  also lost.  As Mrs. Lee, Financial Aid Officer at  Vancouver City College would not supply us with a copy of the criteria  governing the Canada Student Loans  Plan, we requested it from Mr. J.H.  Falk, Student Services Officer, Dept.  of Education.  Again, we wer refused.  We feel that such criteria should be  readily available to the public.  The  criteria for eligibility should also  be re-examined - eligibility is computed on basis of family income -  i.e. income of parent or spouse.  Thus,  the individual is dependent upon the  benevolence of her parent or spouse.  Eligibility should be 'determined  according to the resources of the applicant. letters  NEWSLETTER:  Keep up the good work - your newsletters are vital and stimulating.  Remark made by lawyer for the  respondent in a recent divorce case:  "We are here to decide not what is  fair, but what is the law I"  Pending my own divorce, I was  brutally assaulted and then raped  by "my husband".  As you say, the  fact that he was at the time still  legally my husband, completely  vindicated the action.  It was a  most terrifying experience - I was  attending a convention at the time,  and on returning to my hotel room  (which was in darkness) the bathroom door opened and I was attacked  before I even understood what was  happening (so much for hotel  security that he managed to get a  key somehow).  I really thought I  was being murdered and although I  screamed at the top of my lungs  no one so much as came to knock  at the door.  I lost consciousness  and was apparently dragged under  the cold shower to revive me.  I  crawled out and collapsed on the  tile floor of the bathroom, aware  of his watching me.  I thought-  "if I feign dead, he will go away"  After an eternity I was carried to  the bed and raped.  As in your  article, I felt completely numb,  apart from an overwhelming urge to  vomit.  For 34 hours I lay in a  stupor - a friend also attending  the convention (a women) supplied  me with ice-packs and weak tea  but, I was in such a state of  shock that I believe I slept most  of the time. When I finally  emerged 2 days later, I could  tell from the glances and whispers  of hotel staff, that they were  certainly aware of "something"  that had happened.  I cannot  believe that with all the commotion nothing was heard.  People just don't want to get  involved.  Regrettably I have two  children by this "man" and I must  face him every time he fetches  the children.  On every occasion  I am reduced to a state of uncontrollable trembling, accompanied by a racing pulse and  extreme irritation with the children.  The incident took place a year ago  and I wonder if I will ever get over  it - particularly as his regular  appearance to see the children is a  regular reminder?  I sometimes think  that he enjoys the fact.  It is  certainly true that there are men  who derive pleasure from "using"  women and in other ways "degrading"  them.  In my particular case, the  factor that really enraged him was  that I should actually take the  children and leave him:  leave the  comforts of a "home" to start a-  fresh without any financial support  from him.  There must be countless  women who-rather than step out on  their own-decide to martyr themselves to the devil they know.  Their husbands feel that they have  "got them where they want them".  I was fortunate in being able to  support myself and children, but I  am sure that if this were not the  case I would sooner leave the children with their father who is able  to support them; than be reduced to  a shell of a human being, by remaining with him.  To all women in difficult family  circumstances I would say "Courage.  Nothing is worse than living a life  of humiliation.  The hardest part  is making the decision to leave -  to walk away, knowing that you are  on your own.  After that the peace  of mind and body comes as such a  blessed relief, you wonder why you  didn't do it before. You experience  a sense of being reborn. You rediscover yourself and find to your  surprise that you are still whole,  still a person with feelings,  still  attractive to others, still useful -  with a whole new life in front of  you.  NEWSLETTER:  11  \-  Just a line to tell you that I think  the Newsletter is a commendable and  useful effort.  Keep it up.  I was delighted to read that the proposed B.C. bill in regard to community  of property was scuttled as a result  of representations from women.  I think you should be shouting loud  and clear for what the Royal Commission on the Status of Women recommended.  Go back to our report and read  the section beginning on page 239.  The Partnership of Acquests such as  Quebec has, as one of its three matrimonial arrangements, is the one we  recommended (page 245) .  I think the  Murdoch versus Murdoch case should  make a great many complacent women  realize that the provincial laws, in  the nine common law provinces, in regard to marriage property are archaic.  you know about the Women's Kit that  been prepared by the Ontario Insti-  e for Study and Education?  It is  igned for teachers who want to make  Is aware of their potential and the  ions that are open to them.  The  ress is 252 Bloor Street.  Even if  are in B.C. you might be able to  an example of what they have done,  told it is excellent.  A progress-  guidance counsellor here has pre-  ted it to the English teachers in  No female need endure physical or  sexual assault by a male, because  mean are desperately vulnerable to  attack.  Any child can paralyze a grown man  by ONE determined blow of her tiny  fist on his penis. He will double  up in agony with an overwhelming  urge to vomit.  After 5 or 10 minutes, he MAY feel  like moving, but he will be unable  to chase after her and incapable of  renewing the sexual assault.  I asked a man, "How about a hard  blow from the fist of a grown  women?" He shuddered and said,  "I can't even bear to think of it!"  This is the reason men do not  believe in rape. They know how  incredibly vulnerable they are,  and are certain that women know  this fact too.  Certainly, enough  is said about "not hitting below  the belt" for us to put 2 and 2  together.  Remember, if attached by a man,  concentrate on landing ONE solid  blow on his penis.  One blow and  it's game over for him.  Now, if you're stunned by the  shock of the attack and he gets  you down, you still have one  certain defense. No man can  penetrate a woman if she concentrates all her muscles inward  to close the vagina. All the  pelvic muscles, the strongest in  the body, come into play and  exert 50 - 55 lbs. of pressure at  least.  (You can experiment with  this movement while urinating to  develop control and strength).  That development will stun him  and then you land your one solid  blow on the penis and escape.  Don't be squeamish.  Anyone who  attacks a person smaller & weaker  than himself is a coward and a  brute.  Let the punishment fit  the crime!  Teach your daughter  too the certain defense against  male assault.  Name Withheld by Request.  A few misconceptions on the part  of the writer should be cleared up.  A blow to the penis will not hurt  a man although a blow in that direction may hit the scrotum and that  will hurt.  It's a somewhat risky  venture, however, as you must be  sure the blow is well aimed and hard  enough to cause him to double over  in pain.  A glancing blow doing no  real damage will probably infuriate him to the point where your  life could be in immediate danger.  A man intent on rape can penetrate  a woman no matter how hard she concentrates her vaginal muscles inward.  In fact, doing so will probably result in the victim suffering  more pain, bruising and tearing.  Again, you also risk further inciting the rapist's anger.  Some men do believe- in rape; that's  why it's our fastest growing crime.  Sincerely,  Florence Bird  happy new yearj J£  an  Uc  3r  y  1  2  3  4  TZxnztnoN  5  6  7  U/P*.  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  7-3o-  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  T7<?/v S^aItcj^,  29  30  31  ^/?^  ^


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