Nova Scotia’s child care advocacy organization says it is pleased the Nova Scotia government is moving forward with expansion of the not-for-profit child care sector.
‘Child Care Now Nova Scotia is watching these next steps closely because our major priority is to ensure that affordable high quality child care becomes much more available and accessible. Families are currently struggling to find child care and there are ways to move forward carefully, and with urgency. Families deserve to be able to plan for next week, let alone six months or a year from now,” says Amber Rehill, parent and member of the Steering Committee of Child Care Now Nova Scotia.
“The biggest barrier to expanding child care will be recruiting and retaining Early Childhood Educators especially because workforce challenges are already putting existing programs at risk. No plan for expansion will work without a plan to fund regulated programs sufficiently so that they can pay ECEs more and offer a full compensation and benefits package,” points out Margot Nickerson, Early Childhood Educator (ECE) and member of the Steering Committee of Child Care Now Nova Scotia.
Child Care Now Nova Scotia says it appreciates that the Nova Scotia government will take action on child care without waiting for a new federal cabinet to be in place. However, it is calling on it for more details on the implementation committee that was to be formed with joint federal-provincial representation to guide next steps to putting in place a fully universal child care system.
The provincial advocacy group says that building a publicly-funded, non-profit system will require new policy and funding approaches, and the support of current providers across the sector.
“While it is good to see the provincial government seeking expressions of interest from not-for-profit child care providers to increase the number of spaces they now offer, the provincial government must provide the sector support and resources to answer the call,” said Christine Saulnier, member of the Steering Committee of Child Care Now Nova Scotia.
“Expansion is too important and urgent to be left to chance and that is why we want to see an activist approach by the government to get programs in place, particularly where they are needed most. It is the only way to make sure that under-served populations and regions get the high quality and not-for-profit child care that they need,” says Saulnier.
Child Care Now NS was founded to advocate for a universal, comprehensive, publicly funded, high quality, affordable, accessible, accountable, and not-for-profit Early Learning and Child Care system in Nova Scotia.