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HALIFAX: The chairperson of the Nova Scotia Childcare Education Action Group, and Co-Chair of Private Licensed Administrators Association, said the provincial government has agreed to reassess the options presented last week to childcare providers in the province.

In a statement on Jan. 20, Donna Buckland and Pamela Streeter, said the province has also notified them that the March 18 deadline has been lifted.

“We were informed yesterday (Jan. 19) that the government is going to reassess the three options to eliminate private sector childcare providers that were presented last week as part of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement,” Buckland and Streeter said.

“The province has told us that they value private sector childcare service providers and want to see us continue as a partner to deliver affordable childcare with better pay and working conditions for early childhood educators.”

The two thanked all the parents, staff, and other Nova Scotians who voiced their concern to MLAs over the announcement that asked for-profit childcares to become not-for-profits, or they could face permanent closure.

“We would also like to thank the MLAs who made sure our voices were heard,” said Streeter and Buckland. “We also appreciate the commitment of Members of Parliament to re-open the Canada-wide agreement in Nova Scotia.

“This is an example of democracy in action and listening to those who are being negatively affected by government decisions.”

Buckland and Streeter said that the federal government has showed in agreements with other provinces, such as Alberta and New Brunswick, that they can invest in affordable early learning and childcare, while respecting the valuable role that private sector childcare providers.

“With the March 18 deadline lifted, we are looking forward to negotiating a better solution with the Nova Scotia government,” the two said. “With the provincial government now reassessing the options that were shared with us last week.

“We look forward to advancing better solutions to ensure that we are still able to provide high quality, licensed, affordable childcare and early learning to 10,000 children which was put at risk by the three options presented by the provincial government last week.”