FREDERICTON (GNB) – The incomes of early childhood educators with recognized training have been increased again through a change to the provincial government’s wage top-up program.

As of April 1, the early childhood educator wage top-up is now 25 cents more per hour bringing it to $5 per hour. The increase affects the salaries of almost 1,700 staff.   

“Our government recognizes the tremendous importance of qualified early childhood educators in early learning and child care to both the children and their hard-working families,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Marie-Claude Blais. “This support is another way our government is helping to put New Brunswickers to work and assisting families as we strengthen our province's early learning and child care system.”

The increase builds on a previous enhancement through the wage top-up program in April 2013, when the top-up was raised by 25 cents to $4.75 per hour.

This support is part of the provincial government's three-year, $38-million action plan called Putting Children First: Positioning Early Childhood for the Future, which was launched in June 2012.  The plan sets the stage for building a continuum of learning, starting from birth; and underscores the importance of supporting families through an early learning and childcare system that is accessible, affordable and inclusive, and within high-quality learning environments.

The plan includes measures to enhance the Day Care Assistance Program. On Oct. 1, 2013, families with an annual income less than $27,000 became eligible for the maximum full daycare subsidy, up from $25,000; and the eligibility ceiling for the subsidy rose to those with an annual family income of $50,000, up from $45,000. This increase is helping more than 6,000 children and their families.

A further enhancement of the Day Care Assistance Program will take place Oct. 1, 2014.  Families with an annual income less than $30,000 will become eligible for the maximum full daycare subsidy; and the eligibility ceiling for the subsidy will rise to those with an annual family income of $55,000.

The plan also includes measures to enhance childcare subsidies for parents with limited income.  On Oct. 1, 2013, the maximum daily subsidies for infants (birth to 24 months) was increased by $1 per day, bringing the maximum daily rate to $27.50 per day. On Oct. 1, 2014, it will be further increased by $1 per day, bringing the maximum daily rate to $28.50 per day.

On Oct. 1, 2013, the maximum daily subsidies for preschoolers (two to five years old) was increased by 50 cents per day, bringing the maximum daily rate to $23.75 per day. On Oct. 1, 2014, it will be further increased by 50 cents per day, bringing the maximum daily rate to $24.25 per day.