MONCTON, NOVEMBER 24, 2022– A new provincial child care advocacy organization has been established to support the expansion of high quality, inclusive, affordable child care in New Brunswick.
“The Government of New Brunswick is making big changes in child care using new federal funding so we think it is timely and essential to put in place an organization that can help parents and other citizens advocate for the changes they want,” said Isabelle Forest, the new group’s appointed Coordinator.
Forest said that a first concern for the new advocacy organization is the inadequate supply of licensed child care programs in New Brunswick.
“The provincial-federal funding agreement to cut parent fees by 50% and then move to an average fee of $10 a day goes a long way to making child care more affordable however too few families will benefit because there just isn’t enough child care for those who want and need it,” she said. “Our provincial government must develop and implement without a delay a comprehensive plan to open up new non-profit child care centres, as called for in the funding agreement, and the government should do this taking into account the needs of children, parents, employers, and municipalities.”
Forest warned that putting in place more child care programs also require a provincial child care workforce strategy.
“The biggest barrier to meeting the demand for licensed child care is the growing shortage of qualified early childhood educators,” Forest said. “It is difficult to see how new programs can be set up when existing programs can’t retain staff because of the low wages and poor benefits in the sector.”
Forest said that the recently announced wage increases for early childhood educators is a step forward, but the compensation paid to early childhood educators is still not high enough to convince people to work in community-based child care programs or stay there for any length of time.
The new advocacy organization will be known as Child Care Now New Brunswick, and will be a provincial chapter of Child Care Now, Canada’s national child care advocacy organization. Child Care Now is a non-partisan, non-profit, membership-based coalition that brings together individuals and organizations wanting high quality, English and French child care programs to be available to all who want them at an affordable price. Also, Child Care Now advocates in support of the implementation of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Early Learning and Child Care Framework
Morna Ballantyne, Child Care Now’s Executive Director said she is excited that a New Brunswick child care coalition is being put in place to give voice to all those who want to see more available child care, especially mothers who cannot join the paid labour force to further their education without access to programs. She said Child Care Now New Brunswick, like other provincial chapters of the organization, will do all it can to encourage the provincial government to bring about a fully publicly funded and publicly managed system of early childhood education.
“Across Canada, provincial governments have benefitted from having a strong child care advocacy organization in place,” said Ballantyne. “Getting the New Brunswick chapter in place is just the start,’’ she said. We will continue to build our membership and partnerships with all organizations concerned about the well-being of children, the economic security of families, gender equity, Indigenous rights, high quality public services that are responsive and accountable to citizens and communities,’’ she said.
Any organization, early learning centers or individuals who wish to support Child Care Now New Brunswick, request more information, or join our organisation can contact email@example.com or visit our web site, nb.childcarenow.ca.
For more information, contact:
Child Care Now NB