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(Halifax) – The credibility of a so-called ‘Early Learning and Child Care Working Group’ set up by the Minister of Community Services is being called into question by ECE Teachers who are not represented in the group.

CUPE, the largest child care union in Nova Scotia, has written a letter to Virginia O’Connell, Director, Early Childhood Development Services expressing its disappointment in the department’s decision not to allow representation from ECE Teachers in the group.

CUPE Local 4745 President Lynn Howes, who has worked in the sector for more than 25 years, says, “At a meeting we had with the department in April of this year, we were given a commitment from Minister Streatch that she would ‘consider our request’ for representation.

We actually had our hopes up for a brief moment that someone in government might finally be willing to listen to what we have to say about how early childhood education is delivered in Nova Scotia,” says Howes.

It is regrettable, to say the least, that Minister Streatch does not see the need to have frontline workers – the very people who deliver early childhood education services across the province – given a position, and a voice, on this important body,” she says.

And for the record,” says Howes, “we do not consider having representation from centre directors, our bosses, as fulfilling this role.  Nor do we see having a representative from Child Care Connections Nova Scotia (CCCNS) as being in any way ‘representative of the sector’, as has been claimed by at least the last two Ministers of Community Services.”

In the letter sent today to O’Connell, the CUPE local president says, “We are left only to conclude from your decision that statements from various senior members of your Department about ‘valuing and respecting the work that ECE teachers do in delivering education and care to children is nothing more than lip service.”

For information: 

Lynn Howes                                  John McCracken
President, CUPE Local 4745        CUPE Communications Rep.

(902) 455-5494                            (902) 455-4180 (o)