Child Care Now-NL Welcomes ECE Benefits Announcement

May 29, 2024

Local child care advocates are celebrating progress made to improve working conditions for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) with the announcement that the provincial government is committing to introduce a medical benefits plan for ECEs. 

“There is no greater feeling than knowing you are appreciated. We welcome this week’s announcement by Minister Howell, especially during ECE Week. ECEs province-wide welcome the introduction of medical benefits, which we have been seeking for so long. This is a step in the right direction, and we applaud the provincial government for taking this step,” said Patrice Gordon, ECE and Child Care Now-NL Steering Committee Member.

A lack of benefits and pensions has concrete effects on ECE wellbeing and ability to stay in the sector. According to a recent survey of ECEs conducted by the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, the Jimmy Pratt Foundation and the Workers’ Action Network NL:

  • 57% do not have health and dental insurance
  • 83% do not have a pension
  • 90% have no idea how they will be able to retire
  • 62% feel that they will have to leave the profession to secure benefits

“One of our Federation’s key recommendations in 2024 provincial budget consultations was a call for comprehensive benefits and pensions for ECEs. We are happy to see the government take steps to respond to the needs of ECEs and urge Minister Howell to continue this important work by introducing a dental benefit and defined benefit pension plan in line with plans announced recently in Nova Scotia,” said Jessica McCormick, President of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour. 

ECEs play a critical role in our public education system. During ECE Week, Child Care Now-NL celebrates all that these incredible professionals do to deliver high-quality child care and early learning that shapes the future of our province. These workers deserve to be compensated fairly and have access to the benefits that allow them to live, work and retire with dignity. Today, we celebrate progress made towards reaching these goals and recommit to doing everything we can to ensure ECEs receive all the benefits they deserve.

About Child Care Now
Child Care Now Newfoundland and Labrador is a coalition representing local parents, early childhood educators, labour and community organizations. We are a provincial chapter of Child Care Now – a national organization dedicated to advocating for a publicly-funded, inclusive, quality, non-profit child care system. The organization is non-profit, membership-based, and active in regions across Canada. 

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