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Daycare operator believes workers undervalued for decades

By Steve MacArthur Oct 12, 2022 | 12:17 PM

Early Childhood Educators gathered at Grande Parade on Thursday to march to the Department of Education. They want to know when they'll get more details about a promised pay increase. Photo: Anastasia Payne

The executive director of a Halifax area daycare says their important work has been undervalued for too long.

Many of the 2,600 daycare staff in our province are getting a 30 per cent pay bump and retro pay back to July 4. The back pay will be given out in a lump sum payment before the holidays.

The wage increase range from 14 to 43 percent in total, but a majority will fall within the 30 percent range.

Janessa Williams of the Needham Early Learning Centre says it’s long over after decades of some tough times. She made those comments at the NSCC Akerly Campus in Dartmouth.

“For almost 40 years, ECE’s have helped create a quality child care system. They have given back to our communities and province by subsidizing child care costs with low wages, lack of benefits and no retirement savings,” Williams said.

Early Childhood Educators will see their hourly rate range from $19 to $24, depending on experience.

“This initiative, like other initiatives under the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement such as lowering of parent fees and creating new spaces, is setting the stage for transformational change,” explains Christine McLean, associate professor, department of child and youth study, Mount Saint Vincent University. “It is moving early learning and child care in Nova Scotia from a patchwork of services and service delivery models to a publicly funded and publicly managed system, one that recognizes child care as a common public good and not a market-based service where a parent is ‘lucky’ to find, afford or access suitable child care.”

ECE’s will see the increase on their November cheques. The province is working on a benefits and retirement plan, those details are coming next year.


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