FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is working to minimize the financial impacts that child care facility closures are having on parents.
“Next to the health and safety of children and staff, our decisions have been guided by how we can limit the financial impact on New Brunswickers,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “Our early learning and child care staff are working to ensure that needs of parents are balanced with the need to ensure that quality, affordable child care will still be accessible once operations can resume.”
The department has committed to covering the fees of anyone who has lost their income due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. It will also continue to provide parent subsidies as scheduled. Parents are encouraged to visit the department’s website for more information and to determine if they qualify for assistance.
Essential service workers will not have to pay double fees for their child care services. This includes those paying to reserve a space at their usual child care facility but whose child is attending one of the emergency child care facilities. In this situation, the department will cover the costs of emergency child care. Parents should notify the department to ensure they are not double-billed.
This also means that parents must continue to pay to hold their space at a centre that has not laid off its staff.
“We understand this is difficult for many New Brunswickers,” said Cardy. “Paying for a service you do not use on a snow day is one thing but paying for weeks or months is another. Our department’s immediate focus has been ensuring essential needs are met. In the coming weeks, we will continue to explore how we can address identified gaps.”
Information for essential service workers will be available through the department’s parent portal or by calling 1-833-221-9339.
The directive that people who have travelled internationally on or after March 9 still applies, and travellers are to avoid early learning and child care centres for 14 days.