500 new child-care spaces in Halifax Region

Families in the Halifax region are starting to benefit from about 500 new and planned child-care spaces thanks to provincial and federal funding.

New infant spaces have opened at the East Preston Childcare Centre, and new infant, toddler and preschool spaces were recently added at the Cunard Street Children’s Centre and the Edward Jost Children’s Centre in Spryfield. Several more expansions are planned for the coming months.

“We are proud of our work to transform the delivery of child care in Nova Scotia, with more spaces across the province and lower costs to families,” said Premier Tim Houston. “This is part of our commitment to Nova Scotia families to make life more affordable.”

For families in the Preston area, the East Preston Childcare Centre recently opened eight new infant spaces and 30 spots for school-aged children and will add 60 new toddler spaces at the Akoma Family Centre in Dartmouth.

In Fall River, construction of the new YMCA Fall River Early Learning Child Care Centre is underway. It will have 85 spaces -16 for infants, 45 for toddlers and 24 for preschoolers – and they are expected to open this summer.

Other planned expansions in the Halifax region and their expected openings include:
— Maritime Muslim Academy Preschool, Halifax peninsula – 42 new spaces (10 infant, 32 preschool); spring
— Edward Jost Children’s Centre, Spryfield – 76 new spaces (20 infant, 24 toddler, 32 preschool) in addition to the spaces recently opened; spring
— First Lake Early Learning Centre, Lower Sackville – eight new infant spaces; spring/summer
— Bayers Westwood Day Care Centre, Halifax – six new infant spaces; summer
— Dartmouth Day Care Centre – 34 new spaces (14 infant, 20 toddler); fall
— Maritime Muslim Academy, Clayton Park – 100 new spaces (20 infant, 32 toddler, 48 preschool); fall.

Plans for further expansion of child care in Halifax Regional Municipality are underway and will be shared in the future, as the provincial and federal governments continue efforts to make quality child care affordable, accessible and inclusive across the province.

The investment in these expansions is about $7 million, through the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

“We know that access to child care is one of the biggest issues facing Nova Scotia families with young children. That’s why we are committed to expanding spaces and ensuring families have access to high-quality, affordable child care across the province.”
     – Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

“We are delivering on our commitment to increase access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care for families in Nova Scotia. These new child-care spaces are helping give children the best start in life and making life more affordable for families.”
     – Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“YMCAs across Nova Scotia know that healthy families are supported families. As the largest provider of licensed child care in the province, we know that accessible and high-quality child care is essential to child development, improved health outcomes and the Nova Scotia economy. We look forward to working in partnership with the government to continue to develop solutions for a child-care system that is accessible, affordable, and inclusive.”
     – Brian Posavad, CEO, YMCA of Greater Halifax/Dartmouth

“We really appreciate how smooth the process has been, from communication to registration, and even the day-to-day organizational improvements we have seen within the physical space. Being so organized and responsive allows YMCA staff to focus 100 per cent on the children and the children fall into routine so easily. The environment the YMCA fosters is encouraging and provides families in our community with a care option that is exceptional.”
     – Lily and Chris, parents of a child at a YMCA child-care centre

“Our community is beyond proud of the support that has been given to us to allow for this new growth and expansion of our centre. This opportunity has allowed us to create more of the much-needed infant and toddler spaces that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of the many families and children we serve. This is a very exciting time for the East Preston Childcare Centre seeing the increase of spaces and the creation of new and everlasting diverse relationships.”
     – Trina Fraser, Executive Director, East Preston Childcare Centre

Quick Facts:
— in 2022, Nova Scotia reduced parent fees for child care by 50 per cent on average, and is on track to achieve $10 a day on average by 2026
— 1,500 new centre-based and family home child-care spaces are being created across the province
— planning is underway for hundreds more before and after school spaces in schools to provide a seamless day of care for young children
— Nova Scotia has increased its investment in early learning and child care by $83 million, for a total investment of $277 million in 2023
— through the Canada-wide agreement with Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada is contributing $605 million over five years for early learning and child care in the province

Additional Resources:
More information on early learning and child care is available at:  https://childcarenovascotia.ca/

To receive regular updates about child care in Nova Scotia via newsletter: https://childcarenovascotia.ca/latest-news

Source: Release

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