Chuck Chiasson MLA for Victoria la Vallée and opposition critic for education and early childhood development is calling on the province to provide greater support to the early learning sector and parents with children in daycares.
“The set-up is confusing right now,” Chiasson said. “Some daycares are still operating for children of essential workers, which makes sense. But some parents are being forced to pay to hold their daycare spot, even though they can’t send their children to daycare. That’s not really fair. We think the province should step in and cover that cost and ensure no one loses a daycare spot because of the current health emergency we are all facing.”
Based on what he is hearing, Chiasson says the situation has led to some criticism being directed at operators and a lot of anxiety on the part of operators who continue to charge said Chiasson.
Chiasson thinks that the provincial government should look at what is being done in other provinces and try to simplify things for both parents and daycare operators. “It doesn’t appear that any parents in Quebec, Nova Scotia or PEI are being charged to hold spaces they can’t use because of the emergency measures we are under. That makes sense and just seems more fair for everyone.
Chiasson also noted that Quebec has gone as far as offering free childcare to essential workers in that province during the state of emergency.
“Daycare operators and parents are struggling as we cope with the financial impacts of COVID-19. And daycares are an essential service for essential workers with children. It would be welcome news if our provincial government could do a little more on this front to help everyone through this crisis, said Chiasson.
“A lot of effort has been made over the past number of years to increase childcare spaces in New Brunswick. Hopefully by supporting them adequately through this crisis we will be able to maintain those spaces into the future”.
Chiasson also extended praise to daycare workers and others who are on the front lines of the current crisis. “As many of us as possible are staying home and doing what we can to fight the spread of COVID-19. But there are those who have no choice but to go to work, from health care workers and retail workers, to the daycare employees looking after the children of these essential workers.
“We’re all in this together. Let’s do what we can to make sure everyone is properly supported.”