Halifax – Yesterday’s announcement from Community Services Minister Judy Streatch about 150 new child care spaces for all of Nova Scotia is being called a drop in the bucket by the province’s largest child care union.
CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh says, “This announcement simply confirms what child care workers already feared, that the current government has no clue what it is going to take to build a child care system for Nova Scotians that will meet the needs of working families.
“It also sends a message to child care workers – who are miserably underpaid in this province – that they should not expect any improvements in their wages or working conditions from the MacDonald government,” he says.
Cavanagh says CUPE recently released a comprehensive research report on child care which showed that:
- In 2003-04 there were only enough child care spaces in Nova Scotia to accommodate 14.8% of children 0-12 years of age whose mothers were in the work force. Nova Scotia had the third lowest percentage among the ten provinces, well below the national average of 24.4%.
- Child care workers in Nova Scotia were among the highest trained in the country, but the lowest paid.
- At $149, the Nova Scotia government’s expenditure per child for regulated care was a mere 30% of the national average expenditure of $500 per child.
In addition, says Cavanagh, “This announcement does nothing to help the non-profit centres in Nova Scotia – representing half the sector – which are currently hanging on by a thread. In fact, more portable spaces are only going to hurt those centres.”
President, CUPE Nova Scotia
(902) 957-0822 (Cell)
CUPE Communications Rep.
(902) 455-4180 (o)