Over the weekend, more than 500 people throughout the province gathered to talk about the measures put in place by the Gallant government, which will change the financial situation of early learning and child care owners.
The Association of Early Childhood Care & Education New Brunswick (ECCENB-SEPENB) is asking Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Serge Rousselle to reverse his decision to no longer allow early learning and child care centre owners, who are also educators, to access s salary subsidy, Quality Improvement Funding Support (QIFS). The decision takes effect in June.
The QIFS program is a subsidy that boosta the salaries of those working in the industry using a scale based on their level of training. The recently announced funding cut will apply only to the salaries of owner/operators and not daycare staff, who will still receive the subsidy.
Lise Maillet, president of ECCENB-SEPENB said government should be consulting with early learning and child care centre owners in matters relating to early childhood, especially when it concerns child-care centres.
"We are the ones who step into action each day with the children and their families. There are many things that could be done to improve services offered to young children, thus ensuring a better future for all citizens of New Brunswick."
Maillet says the owners are unanimous on the immediate impacts that will be seen as a result of the measures announced by the Gallant government:
– Increase of fees for parents;
– Closing of licensed child-care centres;
– Loss of jobs;
– Transfer towards illegal services and increase in undeclared work;
– Loss of income tax for the government caused by the move towards undeclared work.
The owners of early learning and child care centres in the province have agreed to put pressure tactics into place, which will be announced in the next few days.
“We have a major impact in the life of families in New Brunswick and we are going to show just that," said Maillet. "The government needs to put some order in its finances. But this needs to be done within a well-organized and logical plan, which will also provide positive results for the whole province in the mid and long terms. Early childhood is one of the keys to success. But in the government’s current proposal, it is the children and parents that are being taken hostage."
-reprinted from Sackville Tribune-Post