Early childhood education establishes the foundation for future learning. Children learn from the time they are born and continue to learn throughout their lives. The Department of Education and Early Years has early childhood educators in both childcare centres and in the public school system. The qualifications and framework delivered are the same. [However], there remains a disparity between the wages, benefits and pensions of early childhood educators in Nova Scotia who work in childcare centres and the public school system.

According to the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Years website , “The early years, from before birth to age 6, are crucial for the child’s healthy development. Our children deserve the best possible start in life to help them develop to their full potential.” Learning opportunities are abundant for children of all ages in child care centres. Early childhood educators provide quality care in a safe and nurturing environment.

As centres face ongoing challenges of decreased enrolment and departures of trained and experienced early childhood educators from child care centres, what will ultimately happen to the child care system for our youngest citizens? How can parents be active participants in the workforce without childcare? All children regardless of their age deserve, and are entitled to, quality care throughout their lives.

Elizabeth Conrad 
Early Childhood Educator, Halifax