A new study which shows more than one-quarter of Nova Scotia children entering primary school have learning problems should not come as a big surprise, according to CUPE Nova Scotia President Danny Cavanagh.

“The statistics compiled from data gathered by primary teachers in 2012-2013 confirm what countless studies have shown – that our country, as a whole, is lagging far behind other developed countries when it comes to early childhood education and care (ECEC). The study from the provincial Department Education and Early Childhood Development showed about one in four students (26.8 per cent) start school in Nova Scotia with a developmental challenge, according to questionnaires completed by their teachers.”

“This is even more proof that we need to move toward a public system of ECEC, with a dramatic expansion of child care services built right into our existing schools. This is often called the ‘hub model’ and is working really well in other jurisdictions, such as Toronto.”

“What’s even less appreciated, is just how important investments in early learning and child care are for the economy. The Fairholm Report that we commissioned in 2011 showed that for every dollar invested in child care, $2.23 would be generated for the province’s overall economy.”

The union which represents childcare and early learning teachers says studies like this have been conducted at a national level in Canada. The Fairholm report was the first study of its kind for Nova Scotia.