The Early Childhood Development Association of P.E.I. is excited to get to work on a new plan outlined by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Dennis King in Charlottetown on Tuesday.
The plan would see child-care rates cut in half from the current $34 a day by the end of next year, and to $10 a day by the end of 2024. It would also create 450 new spaces.
"It was an amazing day," said ECDA interim executive director Jennifer Nangreaves.
"It's incredible for parents. I think it's a huge relief that they'll be able to access child care no matter what their income or where they live."
The financial relief for parents is important, said Nangreaves, but so is the support promised for the workforce.
"Recruitment and retention has been one of the ECDA's top priorities for many years," she said.
"So commitment to the workforce and competitive wages, education opportunities — all of that while parent fees are cut in half — it's a dream."
Not a luxury
ECDA will be an active partner in laying out the details of the strategy to expand the child-care system and get fees down to $10 a day, said Nangreaves.
She noted the association already works with Holland College and College de l'Isle to develop education programs.
Nangreaves added that child care is not a luxury, it is a necessity.
"All children deserve to have affordable, accessible, quality early learning experiences led by a qualified early childhood educator," she said.
"For every child to be able to access child care in their community will just help them have the best start to their life."
Work with the provincial Department of Education and Lifelong Learning on the strategy to fulfil this plan will start immediately, Nangreaves said.
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