New Democrats call for action following release of report on Early Childhood Education

FREDERICTON – New Brunswick New Democratic Party leader Dominic Cardy called for action on early childhood education following the final report of the New Brunswick Child Care Review Task Force.

Cardy said, “The report contains good ideas and goals, but few details on how to make them real. New Brunswick lacks affordable, quality child care and every day more parents are choosing to abandon their jobs because they can’t find or afford child care and more kids are being left behind.”

The NDP has called for the creation of a high-quality, universally accessible, early childhood education program.

Cardy said, “The report recommends refusing licenses to for-profit centres. That will make it harder for parents and kids, especially in more rural parts of our province, which contradicts the call for additional support for ‘vulnerable’ centres. Let’s stop worrying as much about the governance of each centre and focus on the quality of education and support for educators, parents, and children.”

Cardy said, “Early childhood educators play a crucial role in the life of our children. We need to create a full professional association for early childhood educators with a timeline, budget, and commitment from government to expand educational opportunities for early childhood educators. The NDP strongly supports the recommendation to ‘Establish a certification process for early childhood education that includes competencies for credentials for educators and directors/operators’”.

The NDP is calling for a strengthening of the one-year program offered by community colleges and the creation of a two-year program that includes flexible distance options.

“The Gallant government cut $1.9 million dollars from owner-operated early childhood education centres in 2015. They said that money would be replaced with a new and better programme. We haven’t seen that program. This report is fine, but the parents and children of New Brunswick need action,” Cardy said.