October 31st, 2017

Liberal online consultation on child care misses the mark

Parents given just 3 weeks to submit thoughts

Halifax – An online survey to gauge the child-care needs of families in Nova Scotia misses the mark. The Liberal government launched the survey today, giving parents just three weeks to submit their thoughts.

“We’ve heard from many parents who are struggling to find affordable child care for all ages that meets their needs. We’ve heard from families about the lack of inclusive options for children with special needs. We’ve heard from early childhood educators who are struggling to keep centres open,” said Claudia Chender, NDP spokesperson for Education and Early Childhood. “Communities deserve more than an online multiple choice survey to express their concerns.”

The survey is made up of mostly yes or no questions with only a few opportunities to provide written answers. It also restricts anyone without children under 12 years old from commenting. In a press release about the survey, the Liberal government makes no mention of any in-person consultations.

Liberal members of the legislature’s Human Resources committee also voted against hearing from the Nova Scotia Child Care Association on pre-primary’s impact on the child-care sector.

“There is an opportunity here to invest in our children and create a system of high quality, affordable child care that meets the needs of parents and children,” said Chender. “But to do that, we need a government that is ready and willing to listen to parents, educators, and experts not just treat consultation like another box to check.”
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