According to a recent article on CBC news, it would appear that among the many jobs that require filling in Fort Mac in 2017 will be that of Early child-care.
The chair of a local task force indicated that 8 months after the devastating wild fires, these positions are in short supply
The article goes on to say that this same task force surveyed some 57 day care centers and found that astonishingly, they have room to take on 126 additional children. However, these centers would be required to hire an additional 18 early child-care workers in.
Workers ‘Just aren’t available’
Chantal Beaver, chair of the Wood Buffalo Social Recovery Task Force went on to say that “Those workers just aren’t available”.
“What we were hearing is that staff weren’t returning after the fire,” she said. “They had found employment elsewhere.”
This same survey from the Wood Buffalo Social Recovery Task Force found there are some 522 children on a waiting list for child-care spaces.
Beaver was unaware as to how many extra staff would be needed to eliminate that waiting list in addition to the 18 required to take on the 126.
Re-establishing what was working
It is especially disheartening that Fort McMurray had worked so hard before the fire to improve early child care, she said.
“The YMCA of Northern Alberta has done a phenomenal job of placing child-care centres in our communities,” Beaver said. “And to know they in particular have one centre that is not able to open, it’s quite sad.”
Assistance from the Provincial Government
Beaver indicated that Fort McMurray would require assistance from the provincial government to re-open – and fund – an early childhood education training program at Keyano College, located in Fort McMurray.
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