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Nunavut gov't gives 'thank-you' bonuses to child care workers

The territorial government announced Friday it is expressing its appreciation in dollar amounts of $5,000 for each facility that reopened and $1,000 for each child care worker who worked during the lockdown period.

Workers to get $1K, facilities to get $5K for reopening during lockdown

Nunavut Premier P.J. Akeeagok says the government is giving bonuses to daycares and child care workers who cared for the children of essential employees when Nunavut went into a COVID-19 lockdown. (Mike Zimmer/CBC)

Bonuses are coming for child care workers in Nunavut who returned to work in January when the territory was under strict COVID-19 health restrictions.

The territorial government announced Friday it is expressing its appreciation in dollar amounts of $5,000 for each facility that reopened and $1,000 for each child care worker who worked during the lockdown period.

In January, Premier P.J. Akeeagok issued a plea for child care facilities to reopen in order to support the families of essential workers who were burning out from trying to keep critical services operational.

The plea came while the territory was in the midst of a COVID-19 lockdown and most public servants had been asked to work from home.

In a statement Friday, Akeeagok said the reopening of facilities was "instrumental" in helping essential workers do their jobs.

"I want to thank them for responding to our urgent call for child care services during this wave of COVID-19 — by keeping their doors open, they ensured that front-line workers such as nurses could report to work," he stated.

Education Minister Pamela Gross also expressed her personal thanks to the workers, noting they played a "huge role" in supporting essential services.

In the Nunavut Legislature on Friday, Gross said five daycare facilities and 29 employees will be receiving those bonuses. The daycares are in Iqaluit, Pond Inlet, Igloolik, Rankin Inlet and Taloyoak.

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