October 18th, 2019

Early childhood educators to picket legislature

HALIFAX- Early childhood educators (ECEs) and supporters will be picketing Province House this morning starting at 8:30 am. The demonstration is focused on unfair Liberal policies that see ECEs working in pre-primary classrooms receiving higher wages and better benefits than those working in licensed child care centres.

"Early Childhood Educators of Nova Scotia with credentials should be entitled to the same wages and benefits regardless of where they work," said Margot Nickerson, an ECE and President of CUPE 4745, which represents ECEs at six non-profit child care centres in the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development funds early learning and child care in both the pre-primary program and in the licensed child care sector. Workers in the pre-primary program receive benefits including health and dental and access to a pension plan, while those who work in licensed child care centres do not all have affordable access to these benefits.

“This situation is blatantly unfair,” said Claudia Chender, NDP Education and Early Childhood Development Spokesperson. “Equal pay for equal work is an important principle. If an ECE cares for four-year-olds in a pre-primary classroom, they receive better pay and benefits than an ECE who cares for children in a licensed centre. This situation must change.”

The NDP has been proposing solutions to the problems in the child care sector, including the need to move toward a universal early childhood education program that guarantees all children access to high quality early education, lower fees for parents, and fair compensation for ECEs.