Halifax – Early childhood educators are calling on the Rankin government to make their health and safety at work a top priority during the circuit breaker and school closures currently happening in Halifax, Nova Scotia. If child care centres remain open during the current circuit breaker, additional preventative measures need be taken to reduce the risk for staff and for the children.
“With the number of active COVID-19 cases on the rise, early childhood educators believe the Province has not done enough to prevent exposure in child care centres,” says CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen.
“If Public Health does not recommend closing child care centres, like they did with schools, then we need the Premier and the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development to ensure that the current cohort of children attending centres now does not increase,” says CUPE 4745 President Margot Nickerson. “There is too much risk involved that the centres are not prepared to take on in the event that any staff or children at our centres contract the virus.”
“We’re calling on the Province to come up with a comprehensive plan, that covers all possible scenarios to keep staff and children safe,” says Nickerson.
“A one-month-old child in Newfoundland was reported to have contracted COVID-19. What if that happens here? What happens if an ECE is required to self-isolate or becomes ill? There are staff shortages and substitutes are difficult to find in Nova Scotia right now,” says Nickerson.
McFadgen adds, “There has been a consistent devaluing of ‘care’ work by the provincial government. Early childhood education – much like long term care – is chronically underfunded and underappreciated. That must change. The people we rely on to provide quality, public child care in our province deserve our respect and so much more, especially now in these difficult times.”
Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash
I am an ECE worker and I have 3 children 2 of my children are in school and now have to have homeschooling and another child who goes to another childcare center other than mine making us exposed to more than 20 people to bring back to my home with my 2 children who are isolating with my mom who has underlying health problems my mom was minding them after school while I work but is in no shape to watch them all day and homeschooling them so I have no other choice but to leave my work at the daycare to mind them leaving her short staffed as we have a ratio and we are understaffed as it is just confused on it all we change dipars,clean noses and toys no children wore masks there all along and are not used to it so to be told wear masks now will not work and we have to hug them when there sad or hurt please explain all this I love my job and children at my center but I need to think about my family who I work for I’m stuck between the safety of my children or my job I feel they should have shut down daycare also
Half of our children are out because parents are worried to send their children anyway and with rising cases this makes sense.
So can all the nurses and doctors say they want to stay home too. With exactally the same risks and more on the job. I am sure they don’t want to infect their kids and grandkids.
Healthcare staff were prioritized for vaccination, not so the early childhood educators.