On March 8th, 2022, Child Care Now – Nova Scotia (CCN-NS) launched a campaign to target the critical state of the Early Childhood Education workforce in Nova Scotia, and provide language and solutions to government, and the general public, about actions needed to move forward.
This campaign produced materials, language, printables, and other relevant links that were shared through social media, on the ground, and with centres province-wide.
Through the campaign, CCN-NS worked collaboratively to ensure that this issue remains at the forefront of discussions, by providing relevant information and citations, shareable content, and most importantly, facilitating collaboration among community to let government know that they must act now. The main component of this campaign was an actionable template letter provided in collaboration with the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, that community members could fill out to send their support for this issue to their MLAs.
Early Learning and Child Care in Nova Scotia continues to operate in a critical state. Retention and recruitment have been at crisis for years due to a patchwork system that has been subsidized by and built on the backs of Early Childhood Educators (ECEs).
Government promised to develop a compensation framework, outlined in the bilateral agreement and provided vague language in the workforce strategy that both commit to addressing these issues by the end of 2022.
With expansions planned for early Fall and the promise of 9500 new spaces, this promise risks coming too late.
• Raise wages effective immediately
• Ensure all ECEs have access to benefits and pensions
• Prioritize all ECEs’ access to paid sick leave
Send a letter to our political leaders and let them know that The Time is Now, because there will be no additional child care spaces without additional ECEs.
Nova Scotians called on MLAs and their federal and provincial counterparts to expedite the compensation framework and workforce strategy outlined in the Bilateral Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and ensure our Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) receive access to increased compensation, benefits, and pensions effective immediately.
Government had recently announced that they were ahead of target when it came to other elements of the agreement, and it is unconscionable that ECEs, that they’ve identified as, “the heart of the system,” will not see any change to their wages and benefits for over seventeen additional months following the signing of the Agreement.
As constituents and community members, we want to see government acknowledge that educators’ working conditions are children’s learning conditions and remind them that there can be no successful expansion, without ECEs.
We affirmed that they must prioritize the compensation framework and workforce strategy, and ensure all ECEs have access to fair wages, benefits, sick leave and pensions immediately.
Letters to Government
By April 25th, 2022, over 1000 letters from across Nova Scotia had been sent to MLAs and leaders from all 3 parties.
Following the wide-spread success of the campaign and the urgency of our calls to action – Child Care Now Nova Scotia hosted a family friendly rally for educators on June 9th, 2022. This rally was attended by hundreds of Nova Scotian families, educators, and allies. Nova Scotians who were unable to attend in person were encouraged to send in chalk photos to stand in solidarity with and show support for ECEs from across the province.
Through letter-writing, social media, capacity building, and in person events. Over 50,000 Nova Scotians were directly engaged with The Time is Now campaign.
On October 11th, 2022 Child Care Now Nova Scotia and Early Childhood Educators from across the province were pleased to hear that government listened to their calls and introduced the wage scale in advance of the deadline and made additional investments to ensure that ECEs would be paid retroactively to compensate them for their work. Read out statement on the wage scale here [insert link].