Substantially Increase E.C.E Wages in Nova Scotia!
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Qualified Early Childhood Educators in Nova Scotia are living just above the poverty line.
In 2016 E.C.E wages increased to the 2012 national average. Unfortunately, as the cost of living rises and the qualifications necessary in order to find and retain employment increase, more E.C.Es are leaving their field to find work in other sectors or with the new government-funded pre-primary program. Many E.C.Es have not seen a raise in years, work in unfair and/or physically draining conditions, are not unionized and are not paid professionally for their professional work. 'Big School' Teachers, Nurses and General Employees are all apart of professional and unionized systems; but why aren't E.C.Es?
Although parent subsidies are increasing and government grants are being offered to early learning and child care centres, E.C.Es are still widely going without adequate raises, or any raises at all. Government funding may flow into licensed child care centres or family home daycares, but in some cases there either isn't enough money or it isn't finding its way to the trained educators who are working directly with the children on the floor.
As professionals who educate and care for the youngest and most vulnerable Nova Scotians, E.C.Es quite frankly deserve professional pay for their professional work.
Furthermore, there is a shortage of trained and qualified E.C.Es in Nova Scotia. To remedy this, the government has initiated a great recruitment and retention plan for E.C.Es. However, when a Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education, Child and Youth Study or a related field will only provide $19 dollars an hour with no sight of a raise, long days, a lack of recognition, (more often than not) no pension and either no option to unionize or no union at all, their strategies for recruitment and retention will ultimately fail.
What is the future of early childhood education in Nova Scotia? What do E.C.Es in Nova Scotia deserve?
What do the children of Nova Scotia deserve? Accessible, affordable, inclusive high-quality early childhood education provided by qualified early childhood educators.
“This sector has been plagued by high staff turnover and low staffing levels due to inferior wages and working conditions,” says CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen. “The situation will only become worse, as ECEs with a degree leave child care centres to work in the new school board provided classrooms where, presumably, they’ll receive better wages, benefits and a pension – something many early childhood educators in the province don’t currently have.” (Source: https://cupe.ca/early-childhood-educators-nova-scotia-say-new-pre-primary-program-unrealistic-and-unsustainable
“Despite the reported numbers of ECEs available to practice in the province, the regulated early learning and care sector has experienced and continues to experience significant challenges in recruiting and retaining staff, impacting quality across programs,” said Pam Streeter, of the Private Licensed Administrators Association, a group of for-profit day cares." (Source: https://globalnews.ca/news/4164747/finding-enough-workers-still-challenge-as-nova-scotia-rolls-out-pre-primary/
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