Daycare crisis has parents scrambling:

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Daycare crisis has parents scrambling: Petten
Petten today expressed continued frustration on behalf of parents looking for childcare spaces.
Thursday, February 9, 2023

(February 9, 2023, St. John’s) – Barry Petten, PC Official Opposition Shadow Minister of Education and MHA for Conception Bay South, today expressed continued frustration on behalf of parents looking for childcare spaces. A shortage of qualified staff has left many parents scrambling and daycare operators inundated with calls and applications.

Petten noted his office is contacted daily by parents who are desperately looking for space or are on a lengthy waitlist. The Furey Government committed in 2021 to create 6000 more spaces. However, Petten wonders what progress has been made.

“The brand new 60-space childcare in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is closing this month because of a staff shortage. Operators and advocates have been speaking out for years about the lack of recruitment and retention initiatives for Early Childhood Educators, while Government has pushed on with $10-a-day childcare,” said Petten.

Petten notes the Liberal Government has only dealt with one aspect of childcare: affordability. Accessibility continues to be a huge challenge for many families with individuals reluctant to go into the industry citing low pay. In fact, the Furey Government was supposed to release a new wage grid for early childhood educators on January 1, but that deadline has come and gone.

“I have one family who has been on the waitlist since 2019. A doctor in another family cannot go back to work because they cannot find a childcare space. We are desperate for physicians in this province and the Government’s failed approach is keeping one out of the system,” said Petten.

“Where is the human resources plan for Early Childhood Education? Where is updated pay scales to help with recruitment and retention? Yet again, the Furey Government is silent on this critical issue while parents are left clambering. It is just not good enough.”




David Maher

Director of Strategic Communications

(cell) 709-725-0984

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