Long time coming, but budget has early childhood educators finally doing 'happy dance'

·1 min read
Jennifer Nangreaves, executive director of the Early Childhood Development Association of P.E.I., says the new national child-care plan could mean better wages for workers.  (Submitted by Jennifer Nangreaves - image credit)
Jennifer Nangreaves, executive director of the Early Childhood Development Association of P.E.I., says the new national child-care plan could mean better wages for workers. (Submitted by Jennifer Nangreaves - image credit)

Early childhood educators on P.E.I. are doing a "happy dance" after seeing their wish of a national child-care plan included in Monday's federal budget.

If the federal Liberals carry through on the plan, the cost of child care could fall by 50 per cent by the end of 2022, with the goal of getting the price down to $10 a day by 2026.

Daycares might also see better wages to help recruit and retain workers, said Jennifer Nangreaves, the executive director of the Early Childhood Development Association of P.E.I.

"There were many people before me advocating for this for many, many years — going back 50 years. So it's been wished for, hoped for, so there's many people doing a happy dance."

While she's excited for what the federal plan means for early childhood educators, she's also happy about what it means for parents.

Currently about $680 a month

The monthly cost for child care on P.E.I. is now about $680 a month, or $34 a day.

"When you're thinking about how child care can sometimes be like university tuition or mortgage payments — you know, you're saving for child care — it shouldn't be that way," Nangreaves said.

She said she doesn't believe Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland's budget pledge is a hollow election promise, and looks forward to seeing more details and legislative changes to make the plan a reality.

"Canada's economy needs Canada's families, needs this national child-care system. It's been talked about for many years," she said.

"So I think, election or not, it's happening."

More from CBC P.E.I.