FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government has announced that all early childhood educators with a one-year early childhood education certificate will qualify for the same wage enhancement announced last week for educators with a two-year childhood education diploma.

“Educators with a one-year early childhood education certificate, a two-year early childhood education diploma, or a bachelor’s degree will now qualify for the 75 cent per hour wage increase,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “The increase is also available to those with a recognized early childhood education certificate or diploma earned in other jurisdictions.”

With the minimum wage increase to $11.50 per hour on April 1, combined with the wage top-up of $5 per hour for trained employees and this increase of 75 cents per hour, a trained educator will now have a minimum hourly wage of $17.25.

“The experience and dedication that early learning educators bring to caring for and teaching our children is essential and deserves to be recognized,” said Cardy. “Training and ongoing professional development are recognized as the cornerstone of high-quality early childhood services.”

The provincial government has committed to improving the quality of the early learning and child care system with a focus on removing barriers families may encounter in obtaining affordable and inclusive services. Today’s announcement is an investment in the early learning workforce.

This wage increase will be funded by the Quality Improvement Funding Support program, which provides funding to licensed early learning and child care facilities to increase the availability and quality of child care services in New Brunswick, and has a budget of more than $30 million for 2019-20. The 75 cent per hour wage increase applies specifically to the 2019-20 budget year, with the intention it will continue going forward.

To date, more than 330 child care facilities and more than 90 homes have become designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centres and Homes, surpassing the government’s goal.