Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement Discussion

January 19, 2022

Last July the Nova Scotia government signed an affordable child care agreement with the federal government with the goal of providing $10 a day universal childcare, creating 9,500 new child-care spaces and providing higher salaries for child-care workers by 2026.

All of these efforts would benefit working parents. However, the agreement is providing limited options for privately owned child-care centres, which hold 57 per cent of child-care spaces in the province. These businesses, predominantly owned by women and staffed by women, cannot offer these subsidized fees for parents and higher wages for workers unless they join a new central organization being developed by the Department of Education.

We also are aware that at least two other provinces New Brunswick and Alberta are not taking this approach and are working with privately-owned centres on inclusion in the formula.

During a conference call last week, the provincial department gave private child-care centre owners their options. Many within the industry are calling it a "hostile take over" and are deeply concerned about the impacts on their business and the children who they care for on a daily basis.

Of the three options provided to the businesses, for-profit centre owners can choose to become an approved service provider under the new system, keeping their businesses but losing control over operations such as waitlists and payroll. Or they can transition to a non-profit model and give up their businesses to the new organization. Alternatively, if they chose to remain private they will lose all current funding.

Today, January 19, we  heard from five of these locally owned business as they shared first-hand the choices and potential impacts they are facing.

Our participating panelists are:

Pat Roberts,  Mount Pleasant Nursey School

Andrew Gilroy, Bible Hill / Salmon River Play to Learn

Paul Weatherbee, The Love, Laughter and Learning Centre

Alyse Brayley, Frona Allen – My Pride and Joy Learning Centre Inc

Ellen Butts, Making Friends Preschool

To view this discussion; https://youtu.be/pZwqVZ4MjEQ

Click here, for the Parent's Letter Template mentioned in the discussion.

Click here to download a template letter to show support from a local business

Click here, for a list of our Provincial MLA's, and their contact information.

CLICK HERE TO READ A LETTER SENT TO PREMIER HOUSTON Letter to Premier regarding childcare - 012022f

News release issued by Truro Chamber on Jan. 21 re childcare agreement

 

ACC sent a letter to the NS government expressing concern and requesting more information. A meeting was held on January 18 and the government did not retreat from the original announcement but provided assurances they would work closely with operators. Based on direction from the NS Provincial Advisory Committee (PAC), ACC drafted a further letter that was sent to the Federal government to convey a request that the federal-provincial agreement be amended to ensure funding of for profits as is the case in several other provinces. A copy of the letter will be posted on our policy submissions page shortly.

Letter to NS Government from Atlantic Chamber of Commerce

 

News release January 21, 2022

For immediate release

January 21, 2022

Chambers ask government to renegotiate terms for privately owned childcare centres

 

TRURO – Chambers are amplifying the voices of locally owned and operated childcare centres asking government to halt its role out of a new childcare agreement in an effort to renegotiate conditions with private operators.

 

A joint letter was sent to Premier Tim Houston’s office on Thursday, along with 16 MLAs and Ministers, and Colchester-Cumberland MP Stephen Ellis, on behalf of the members of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce, the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce, the Yarmouth and Area Chamber of Commerce, the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, collectively serving more 1,500 members that represent a diverse cross section of the local economy.

 

The Chambers expressed concerns they have heard from privately-owned childcare centres about the impact on their businesses by the proposed $605 million Canada-Wide Early Learning and Childcare agreement which aims to drop childcare fees to an average of $10 per day by 2026 under the deal.

 

“Many privately-owned childcare centres are viewing what the government is proposing in its three options for businesses to participate in this historic agreement as a ‘hostile takeover’,” said Matthew Mossman, President of the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce. He said in recent weeks Chambers have had conversations with many childcare businesses, licensed privately-owned and not-for-profit, as well as unlicensed providers. The Chambers acknowledge the province has agreed to lift the looming March 18 decision deadline for privately-owned childcare centres and has committed to reassessing options, however, the Chambers stand firm that greater engagement and consideration of business is needed before finalizing the deal.

 

“All agree that there is an urgent need for better wages for Early Childhood Educators, increased availability of spaces for children in care centres and affordable rates for all families,” said Mossman. “The deep concern stems from the lack of detailed information, timelines and disregard for business government has shown toward these vitally important care providers and the release of a plan with vague details have caused confusion and fear for business owners, staff and parents.”

 

On January 19, the Truro and Colchester Chamber of Commerce hosted a discussion with five privately-owned childcare centres, now available for viewing on the Chamber’s YouTube Channel, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwqVZ4MjEQ) where they shared their views on the current rollout of the provincial-federal affordable childcare agreement.

 

“They clearly articulated the reasons why the government's proposed three options for private childcare centres are not acceptable and essentially leave them with no reasonable choices,” said the Chamber President.

 

“We ask that government immediately re-engage with childcare operators across the province in meaningful, constructive, considerate discussions to negotiate a sustainable plan that works for business, government, parents and most importantly, the children of this province.”

 

Mossman believes this agreement could be an opportunity to support and grow business in Nova Scotia rather than shut businesses, predominantly owned and staffed by women.

 

“We support efforts to provide affordable childcare to families so they may continue to participate in the workforce and help grow our province's economy,” said Mossman.

“However, we cannot support the government in forcing hard-working, dedicated business owners to give up their livelihoods, the majority of whom are women.”

 

He is calling on parents, local business owners and their staff to share their support for locally owned childcare centres. The Chamber has prepared resources and information to assist those wishing to send letters to their MLAs which can be accessed at www.trurocolchesterchamber.com.

 

 

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https://www.trurocolchesterchamber.com/canada-wide-early-learning-and-child-care-agreement-discussion/


Winter festival to include lightshow, night markets in Downtown Truro

Winter festival to include a light show, night markets in Downtown Truro

Downtown Truro will be glowing with community spirit next month when a light show transforms the Civic Square into a winter wonderland.

The light show is a new addition to the Truro Winter Long John Festival, made possible by funding from Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and a three-way partnership of the Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce, the Town of Truro and the Downtown Truro Partnership.

“We’re thrilled about this project that celebrates the winter season in Downtown Truro. There are lots of opportunities to participate and enjoy the festival,” said Rochelle Roberts, Executive Director of Downtown Truro Partnership. “It’s so important to find ways to continue to support our local businesses and stay active this winter while following public health restrictions.”

More than 25,000 lights will be installed in trees in and around the square to create a magical atmosphere to attract visitors to the Town throughout the winter months. The Town is set to launch its Winter Long John Festival on February 3, and the display will remain in place throughout the month into mid-March. In addition, a light show projection will run from Feb. 3 - March 12 in the evenings at the square projected on the historic Colchester East Hants Public Library building creating a stunning backdrop for skaters and visitors alike. The show will run every 15 minutes from 5 p.m. until 9:45 p.m.

“We are thrilled to add to the Winter Long John Festival in a way that promotes getting outside during the winter,” said Mayor Bill Mills, Town of Truro. “We hope it will encourage visitors to enjoy the outdoor activities Truro has to offer this time of year.”

Businesses are encouraged to be involved in the festival by hosting a booth at one of the night markets being held in collaboration with the Truro Farmers’ Market. Market nights will be accompanied by live entertainment. In addition, businesses in Truro and the area will have an opportunity to sponsor hot chocolate for visitors, apply for funding to assist them in hiring live performers at their locations or offer specials to join in on the festival fun.

“The local business community needs as much support as possible right now. It has been an incredibly tough couple of years as the pandemic continues to impact shopping and entertainment trends,” said Sherry Martell, Chamber Executive Director. “We are so pleased to be a part of this beautiful project that will bring joy to our local residents and attract people to the community while we celebrate an iconic Truro product, Stanfield’s Long Johns.”

The project will have a lasting impact on the community with lights and equipment purchased that will be used for other events and promotions in future years.

The partners have received $50,000 in funding from ACOA to host the winter light show in Truro, along with additional local funding and in-kind contributions.

More information about the Truro Winter Long John Festival, the light show, and Winter Night Markets, can be found at www.trurolongjohn.ca.

 

ATLANTIC CANADA OPPORTUNITIES AGENCY NEWS RELEASE:

Cumberland, Colchester Counties will benefit from investments to help residents and visitors enjoy the region and its shared spaces safely

 


Download our 2021 Member 2 Member flyer!

Do you or your employees take advantage of our Member-2-Member discount program? You should!

Take a look at our M2M discounts below and save big! Just another way for Chamber membership to save you money.

View the M2M flyer here.


TCPEP Winter Update newsletter

In Nova Scotia, Regional Enterprise Networks are a collaborative approach to economic development supporting business growth. The Truro & Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity (TCPEP) is led by a local volunteer Board of Directors - local business people who want to drive business development in Truro Colchester.
To view a copy of the TCPEP Winter Update newsletter, click here.
To learn more about TCPEP visit their website at trurocolchester.ca

New Gift Local Newsletter

The Truro & Colchester Chamber of Commerce is encouraging all of our business partners to support members by choosing to Gift Local First this year. For the next seven weeks a list of local businesses who sell online will be sent directly to your inbox on Tuesday afternoons. The list will be updated weekly, and is a perfect "one stop shop" to help you find the perfect gifts this holiday season. Listings in this newsletter are a FREE service for members, with additional options at a cost.
For more details on how to have your online store or special offers included in the shop local listing email [email protected]
Newsletter - Dec. 22 Shop LOCAL deals and ideas - CLICK HERE

Curling Funspiel

Join us for our annual Curling Funspiel January 23rd at the Truro Curling Club! $40 for Members/$50 for non-members or $140 to register a team of 4 people!

RSVP today to [email protected] or call 902-895-6328

 


Holiday Mix & Jingle

Join us for a holiday Mix & Jingle, Dec. 5 at the Marigold Cultural Centre. Chamber members are welcome to bring guests and their staff for a networking social. Join us and make a connection!
RSVP to [email protected] or call 902-895-6328

Luncheon with Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition

Join us May 31st for a conversation with Andrew Scheer, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada on Thursday, May 31st from 12:30-1:30 pm at the Best Western Glengarry, 150 Willow Street, Truro

$25+tax for members / $30+tax for future members

Please call (902) 895-6328 or email [email protected] to register