Nova Scotia child care centres are getting the help they need to hire, and keep, qualified staff. Community Services Minister Judy Streatch made the announcement of almost $5 million in extra funding today, March 7, in Halifax. “The province is moving forward on its commitment to improving and expanding child care across Nova Scotia,” said Ms. Streatch. “This funding is available to all licensed child care centres to help enhance staff salaries and benefits which will, in turn, provide a foundation for recruitment and retention of staff.” The child care operating grant is a key part of the Early Learning and Child Care Plan and is available to licensed commercial and non-profit full-day child care centres. Centres will receive $8 per day, per occupied space, for infants, and $3 per day, per occupied space, for children 18 months old to school age. The grant will replace the salary enhancement, equipment, infrastructure, and infant care grants that had been issued to non-profit child care centres. The child care operating grant is about $54 million of the $130-million plan. “Wages for child care workers are a critical factor in the competitive recruitment and retention of my staff,” said Bronwien Richardson, director of Dutch Village Child Care. “This funding could also help develop a staff pension program or increase their vacations, improving the lives of these coveted and appreciated employees.” Licensed, full-day child care centres have until April 10 to submit their child care operating grant applications. More information and the application form can be found at: www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/elcc.html . A 10-year, made-in-Nova Scotia, child care plan was announced in May. The Early Learning and Child Care Plan will add more day-care spaces, increase subsidized spaces, and provide support for the province’s child care sector.
“Xenophobia and racism are often at the root of discrimination and intolerance against asylum-seekers and refugees,” said Volker Türk, the director of the international protection division of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).Fear of the ‘other’ typically underlies racist and intolerant sentiments and is compounded by the current global economic and the deteriorating political and social environment in some countries, according to the new guidelines.The agency’s strategy also calls for the monitoring of signs of intolerance, such as racial discrimination and hate crimes. It stresses that the discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance can only be countered by understanding their underlying reasons, including rising immigration and high unemployment.But UNHCR underlined that changing intolerant attitudes is too large a task for one organization to achieve, and called for the participation of governments, UN bodies, non-governmental organization, law enforcement and the media to counter xenophobia and racism.Communities affected by intolerance, as well as potentially hostile groups, must also be involved in all stages of the process to conquer the fear of the ‘other.’“Racism, xenophobia and intolerance are serious threats to the protection of refugees, asylum-seekers and the stateless,” Mr. Türk emphasized. “UNHCR and its partners are working hard to tackle this challenge, but more needs to be done.” 23 December 2009The United Nations refugee agency laid out its strategy today to combat xenophobia and racism, which it says triggers flight and can jeopardize its work to protect asylum-seekers, refugees and the stateless.