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Opinion: Staff shortages a big problem for early childhood care

Current operational centres in our community are struggling to staff programs, many running on multiple exceptions just to make the staff/child ratio work.
Childcare
It's great that there is funding for opening more childcare spaces but who is going to staff them?

With much coverage over the past few months on Prince George receiving funding for increasing opening childcare spaces, I felt compelled to comment.

As a licensed Early Childhood Educator for over 25 years in our community, no one is discounting families are needing quality childcare spaces. Yet a big piece missing from these announcements is the crisis the Early Learning and Childcare profession is in.

There is not enough quality and qualified professionals to fill these programs. Current operational centres in our community are struggling to staff programs, many running on multiple exceptions just to make the staff/child ratio work.

Those who truly understand the " behind the scenes" are frustrated and concerned our voices of advocacy are being unheard. We need strong voices from our community to question our local, provincial and federal government to truly look at investing in supporting Early Childhood Educators.

How do we recruit, retain and invest in recognizing the importance of the role we play in children, families and our overall economy? That is the true piece missing.

Many of these programs unfortunately will have the reality of being built but remain empty due to lack of staff.

Jacqueline Ennik

Prince George