On April 5th, on behalf of our members, we sent a series of questions to each party leader about their platform as it relates to licensed Early Learning and Child Care and the workforce that provides these essential programs and services.
Update: All parties have responded. Read their answers here:
Does your party intend to implement an Early Learning and Child Care Wage Grid with wages in line with PEI Educational Assistants?
The required qualifications are identical, yet the wage difference is 19.98%. Child care centres are losing highly-skilled educators to public schools.
If you support a wage increase, do you intend to include Inclusion Support Assistants? Inclusion Support Assistants provide services to children in need of the most specialized care yet are considered non-certified on the Wage Grid and often earn minimum wage.
If you support a wage increase, do you intend to include Early Childhood Educators that work at non-designated centres? What is your party's plan to support educator wage parity without increasing parent fees?
What is your party’s plan to increase families’ access to quality, licensed Early Learning and Child Care?
As of February 2019, there are 867 children currently waiting on PEI’s child care registry as needing a space within one year or less – 572 of whom are infants.
How does your party propose to make quality, licensed Early Learning and Child Care affordable for all families regardless of centre designation?
In January 2018, three hundred Early Childhood Educators on Prince Edward Island were provincially certified and qualified but choosing not to work in the licensed child care sector.
Child care centre operators have reported to the ECDA that they cannot expand the number of children they accept due to the difficulty of recruiting and retaining certified Early Childhood Educators.
Is your party committed to implementing a workforce strategy to support the needed growth of the Early Learning and Child Care sector on PEI?
Island families are already paying more for child care than one year of full-time tuition at the University of Prince Edward Island. Infant child care on PEI costs at least $8,840 per year while an average, full-time student at UPEI pays $7,355 per year in tuition.
We cannot afford to pay more!