Many New Brunswick families struggle finding before and after school programs that are affordable, convenient, widely accessible and in their community. When childcare costs are high or lacking flexible hours, parents feel the burden. They sometimes need to leave their jobs to accommodate, put children in care in another language, and make difficult decisions to pay the high costs at the expense of something else their family may need.
The NDP would introduce a Family Focused Before & After School Care plan, to keep children in their communities with care right at their schools from 6am to 6pm, with childcare spaces available to everyone, at a cost that families can work with. Our childcare plan for children aged 5 to 12 years old is to implement a before and after school care in every public school in New Brunswick, wherever parental demand exists.
Once elected, the New Brunswick NDP will begin the roll out of a universal before and after school care program run by school districts to be implemented in all schools across New Brunswick wherever parental demand exists.
Family Focused Before and After School Care plan details :
- Childcare placed in school classrooms before the school day begins and after the school day ends, from 6 am to 6 pm, with flexible hours for workers.
- Children will have access to all school resources such as gymnasium, library, classes, playground, etc. A play-based program will include recreational activities, nutritious snacks, homework help, music and other programs where local resources are available and appropriate.
- All childcare workers will be qualified Early Childhood Educators (ECE), school board employees or other workers with equivalent qualifications with all applicable pensions, benefits and sick days.
- The language of operation will be that of the school, with bilingual exposure being a key emphasis. Childcare centres with First Nations children, and indeed all centres, will include First Nations’ languages and cultural activities in consultation with local elders.
- Childcare will be open to everyone and there will be no waiting lists. The cost to parents will be $15 for before and after care, and $10 for just one. Existing subsidies will follow the child to the school-based program
- An expected 11,000 new childcare spaces will be created to meet the current demand for addition care.
“While I was Chair of the Ottawa School Board, I saw first hand how school-based community-centred childcare benefits families. Parents can drop off their children in the morning without worrying about them having to move offsite for childcare and it immediately reduces family stress when they can leave their kids in a familiar environment with familiar friends and where they are already comfortable with the staff.” – Jennifer McKenzie, leader of the NB NDP