Union sounds alarm over manpower in early childcare education

Children put up their hands for ice cream at a daycare centre in Montreal on Friday, August 18, 2006. (Ian Barrett / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Quebec’s Federation of Health and Social Services is raising the alarm over a lack of manpower in educational childcare.

At a press conference on Sunday morning representatives of the CSN said the sector is facing problems in hiring and retaining workers.

According to an internal survey of 2,700 union members nearly one in four workers in early childhood centers and regulated and subsidized daycares wants to retire or leave the job in two years.

CSN vice-president Veronique De Seve said many feel overworked.

“Even if you believe in the work and love children, the working conditions aren’t necessarily winning,” she said.

De Seve criticized “political choices” made by the Coalition Avenir Quebec government.

“The government said to workers who have been in early childcare education for a long time ‘what you did, it’s not important, it’s not interesting,’” she said.

She said the “devaluation” puts off students who are potentially interested in pursuing early childhood education.