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N.L. parents signing up for daycare spots before babies are born: Province filled with 'childcare deserts,' according to new report

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Head, J.
Publication Date: 
6 Jul 2023


In the report, "Making Space: 2023 Roadmap on Early Learning and Childcare," the Jimmy Pratt Foundation focuses on quickly creating high-quality, regulated childcare spaces.

Neria Aylward, executive director of JPF, says, "even though there's such a crisis in childcare in N.L., there are solutions.

"There are solutions that we can learn from; what's happened in other countries and jurisdictions, we can apply here in the province where we have such a great opportunity.

"Most developed countries across the world have some form of publicly funded childcare system."

Parents and guardians across N.L. are frustrated with the childcare system as the province faces a crisis of not enough childcare spots.


The report recommends retention strategies to access provincial funding for early childhood educators, such as introducing health and dental benefits, pension programs, paid sick days, vacations, and coffee breaks.


The foundation also recommends that the provincial government follow through with its commitment to implement junior kindergarten – a commitment made in 2017, which is different than the pre-K pilot program currently offered.


According to the report, the JPF wants to make childcare coverage public by having school boards, Indigenous governments, health-care authorities, and the provincial government operate the programs because the not-for-profit sector will only fill some gaps.

This solution will help create a rural childcare strategy and support indigenous-led early learning and childcare programs, the JPF stated.

"It's almost more important in rural communities because every single person, their contribution to the community is so, so, so important, and childcare is just a structural infrastructure," Aylward says.