Time to listen to early childhood educators
Dale Kirby, MHA for St. John’s North and NDP Education Critic, has issued the following statement to mark Early Childhood Educators Week:
This year, we are observing Early Childhood Educators Week in Newfoundland and Labrador from May 26 through June 1. I would like to add my voice to all those who are thanking the dedicated individuals responsible for early years education and the care of our youngest children.
It was mildly encouraging this year to see Child, Youth and Family Services launch a provincial strategy for child care in the province. However, it is a 10-year plan with much of the real progress not scheduled to happen until 2017 or later.
The need for qualified early childhood educators is widely recognized. I continue to agree with our province’s Early Childhood Educators who have asked the provincial government to extend the 2012 increase in the Educational Supplement to all ECEs, rather than only those who work as operators in child care centres. I hope that government will see the wisdom of this and make the necessary change.
Quality, accessible, affordable child care is not a luxury in this day and age. In many cases, the lack of affordable child care keeps highly qualified individuals out of the workforce.
Studies have, time and time again, demonstrated how access to child care both increases participation in the workforce and improves the social and economic conditions of families, and mothers in particular.
During Early Childhood Educators Week, I am pleased to offer my thanks and support to the dedicated individuals who care for our children, and urge government to pay more attention to their suggestions for improving their profession.