溫哥華學校局董事德尼克(Ken Denike)認為,雖然目前尚無官方统計數字，但他曾經聽說有十二歲的孩子還要照顧自己弟妹這樣的事。「問題是，消息來源只是道聽塗說，並不可靠。從我了解的情況來看，這些孩子挺能幹，有些功課很好。要說讓人擔心的，只是出了事沒有人可以幫得上忙。」 溫市西區的楓林小學(Maple Grove Elementary School)兩年前曾經有過一個調査，證實該校百分之十的學生中，有家長在國外居住。該校校長卜勞克特(Mark Proctor ) 還說，根據這項調查來看，平時家長不在家的，更高達百分之三十至六十。「有事情時，我們大多可以聯繫到某個監護人，不過此人不是家長，也沒有多少辦法。偶然也有家長要求我們，通過電話或傳真與他們聯絡。」
English translation: “Tai Kong Ren” Leaving Children Home Alone: Right or Wrong
Opinions are Polar Opposites due to the Different Cultural Backgrounding
World Journal Vancouver Report
Some Chinese immigrant families let their children stay home alone in Canada. What do you think about this? Lilian To, the administrative director of the United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society (S.U.C.C.E.S.S.), responded: Chinese and Western cultures have very different views on the responsibilities of parents.
Lilian To said that parents who left their children in Canada and returned to work in Asia felt that this was the best choice for their families. She said that Chinese parents are very realistic. They express their love for their children by doing duties such as making soup and buying clothes for their children. She does not think that these parents are materialists. But Chinese parents consider that one responsibility of being a parent is to make the children live a good life. "[These parents] are not used to hugging or saying I love you."
Lilian To said on Wednesday that these parents leaving their children alone in Canada usually had no choice. When they first came to Canada, they usually were not prepared for the extremely difficult local job market. And it is even harder to do business. So soon after, they decided to go back to their original workplace and leave their children.
Lilian To pointed out that the children who were left home alone are generally older. Usually the parents would appoint guardians. In doing so, they believe that they have done their best.
However, the reactions of the schools have been quite different.
The schools in Richmond have recently been "shocked" by the number of immigrant children living at home alone. In Vancouver, school officials are not that surprised, and think that this has been the case for several years. However, with the increase of the number of wealthier individuals who immigrate for investment reasons, the amount of "tai kong ren" parents [People travelling frequently back and forth between Canada and their places of origin] has grown. The phenomenon is stronger in the Western district of Vancouver than in the East.
Ken Denike, director of the Vancouver School Board, thinks that although there are no official statistics yet, he has heard about a case of a 12-year-old child taking care of his brother and sister. "The problem is that the message has been heard through word of mouth and is not verified. From the situation I understand, these children are very capable and some of them perform well academically. What people are really worried about is that no one may be available to help them in emergency situations.” The Maple Grove Elementary School in the Western district of Vancouver had a survey two years ago that confirmed that 10% of the school's students having parents living abroad. The school's principal, Mark Proctor, said that according to the survey the absence rate of parents from the home may be 30 to 60 percent. "When something has happened, most of the time we can reach a guardian. But this person is not a parent and there is not much they can do. Occasionally, some parents ask us to contact them by phone or fax."
Although people are concerned about the situation of children of the "tai kong ren" parents, the children do feel increasing pressure. Mr. Proctor said there is no evidence that these children have poor academic performance or other trouble. "To say that this is a big problem is an over exaggeration. In the long history of Canadian immigration, children living at home alone was normal when families migrated."