Following Minister Cardy’s impromptu announcement that he is considering implementing an extended winter break this year, the Official Opposition critic for Education and Early Childhood Development is expressing concern over the impact this decision may have on the province’s childcare providers.
“I just want to make sure the Department is doing its due diligence and ensuring that the childcare providers are equipped to handle this. Not all parents will be able to take an extended winter break to care for their children, so there will inevitably be more children needing care than there usually is at this time of year,” says Benoît Bourque. “There are consequences to every decision, both good and bad, and it’s vital that the Minister think this all the way through. It’s dangerous to improvise during a pandemic.”
As part of the mandatory Covid-19 regulations, early childhood educators are responsible for keeping the groups of children separated at all times and regularly disinfecting their facility.
“The Early Childhood Educators in the province really stepped up during this pandemic, especially in the early stages when almost everything else was closed down. They have taken every new regulation in stride and have been a fantastic partner in the fight against Covid-19.” says Mr. Bourque. “Caring for large groups of children is already challenging enough, but having to separate the children in small groups, keep them apart from each other and maintain regular cleaning on top of it all is a hefty task!”
With childcare workers also feeling the effects of keeping up with the necessary health regulations, Mr. Bourque is calling on Minister Cardy to share details on how he will support them through the extended winter vacation. “We are hearing serious concerns on behalf of early childhood educators and I would ask Minister Cardy to share how he plans to support them as soon as possible.”