The national childcare program suffers from a shortage of places and staff

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The national child care program suffers from a lack of spaces and staff

According to Child Care Now, Alberta needs to recruit more than 7,000 early childhood educators to create new child care spaces, as provided for in the agreement with Ottawa.

The national child care program introduced by the Liberal government has generated a remarkable increase in applications. However, the lack of places and staff could jeopardize its success, according to experts.

The federal government has promised to halve the cost of child care in the first year and reduce daily fees to $10 per day per child in participating provinces by 2026.

< p class="e-p">This plan is accompanied by approximately $30 billion in federal funding over five years to help provinces offset the costs of a national program of x27;early learning and care. The plan also calls for creating 250,000 child care spaces across the country.

The floor plan federal government has $30 billion in funding over five years. (Archives)

Because of these incredible cost reductions, where parents who have access to licensed child care are paying half of what they were paying more than a year ago, the demand is huge, said Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now, in an interview with CBC News.

The record number of registrations on the waiting lists shows that there is a significant shortage of places. Ballantyne also points to a lack of educators in all regions of the country.

Also, the big challenge for the program is recruiting and retaining employees, due to low salaries.

Each province's national child care program agreement with the federal government requires them to create a grid setting out base salaries and how increases will evolve over time. years. The federal government left it up to the provinces to set minimum wages. Wage increases have been done differently across the country.

In the Yukon, for example, the minimum wage for fully qualified early childhood educators reached $30, or just over $32 in rural communities. For its part, Saskatchewan has granted a wage increase of up to $2 per hour and has promised to establish its wage grid in 2023. Alberta has granted child care workers wage increases and one-time payments, while Nova Scotia increased wages by up to 30%.

Educators in Ontario began earning a minimum wage of $18 per hour on April 1 – $20 for supervisors. Those salaries are to increase to $19 and $21 next year. In New Brunswick, those with a one-year certificate in early childhood education now earn $23.47 per hour, while untrained workers earn $16.90.

In British Columbia, the wage increase was around $4 an hour.

With information from CBC

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