President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Saint John Shilo Boucher says that this is going to transform the child care sector.
Saint John and Edmundston have been chosen as the two locations where the first designated New Brunswick early learning centres will be rolled out.
The announcement was made in Saint John by premier Brian Gallant who says the goal is to transform at least 300 current child care providers in the province into these designated centres which would offer affordable child-care for low and middle income families, an increased number of spaces for infants and toddlers, among other criteria as well.
“We recognize there are people in low-income situations that just can’t afford child care, or, they’re faced with choices such as I could go to work but if I go to work, the cost of child care basically offsets all the money that I would make and maybe even I’d be paying more,” says Gallant.
“I think that it’s going to mean more families can now access child care who probably couldn’t access it before and it allows folks like the YMCA who is a non-for-profit to really focus on the areas that they need to,” says Boucher.
“We’ve been waiting for something like this for years.”
$12-million in grants, which is part of an N.B.-Ottawa agreement to invest $71-million into improving early learning and child care for young children, is part of the plan to designate hundreds of facilities are early learning centres.