N.B. groups call for universality in national child care deal

Several New Brunswick groups say the new national child care deal the Trudeau government has reached with the provinces does not go far enough.

The federal government says the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, reached last week, sets out the parameters for $7.5-billion in new child care spending over 11 years.

Provinces can choose to invest in improving the quality of care, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity.

But the New Brunswick Federation of Labour says it's disappointed that universal entitlement to child care programs was not one of the principles included in the framework.

The Regroupement féministe du Nouveau-Brunswick says the province must push to add universality in its bilateral negotiations with the federal government.

It says all New Brunswick families who need child care, not just targeted populations, should be able to access high-quality programs at an affordable price.

Meanwhile, the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity is urging the province to report on salary levels, as an indicator of quality, in addition to staff training.

The coalition says adequate wages for educators would help with recruitment and staff turnover rates, and provide an incentive to encourage training.