Families will see their fees for accessing licensed, funded child care reduced by 25 per cent, on average, starting Friday, April 1.
Through the Nova Scotia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, parents will save anywhere between $3 and $10.50 per day, per child, based on the child’s age.
“I’m incredibly excited to offer real savings to families across the province,” said Becky Druhan, Nova Scotia Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “This is the first fee reduction on our way to achieving $10 a day daycare, on average, for families by 2026 and a major step towards making child care more affordable and accessible for parents.”
Parents will see the savings applied directly to their bills. Licensed centres that accept the 2022-23 annual funding agreement, which reflects the principles of the Canada-wide agreement, will be provided with full funding to offset the fee reduction. To date, 98 per cent of operators have signed the agreement, representing 99 per cent of child-care spaces in the province.
Reduced fees are applied retroactively to January 1, 2022, meaning parents will receive a cheque or credit from their child-care centre for amounts paid above the new rates from January to March. Parents can expect to see the retroactive funds by the end of May.
Work continues on Nova Scotia’s Excellence in Early Childhood Education workforce strategy, which will result in higher wages and benefits for early childhood educators by this fall.
The Government of Canada is making a transformative investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child-care system in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners. Nearly all of Canada’s provinces and territories, including Nova Scotia, have either announced child-care fee reductions or have already achieved an average cost of $10-a-day or lower for regulated child care.
“This reduction in child-care fees is a meaningful step toward achieving regulated early learning and child care for an average of $10-a-day, making a real difference for families across the province. We will continue to work with the Government of Nova Scotia to help ensure that children have access to the high-quality, affordable, and inclusive early learning and child care they need to succeed.”
– Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“The 25 per cent fee reduction is going to free a large amount of money each month that normally goes towards my daycare bill. The benefits are numerous – less financial worries alleviates stress which allows me to be a better parent, and the extra money allows us more opportunities to do things that we might not have been able to afford before like family trips, savings to contribute to my children’s RESP, and extracurricular activities. These opportunities benefit my children’s development directly and long-term.”
– Kelly MacDonald, parent of two young children, Cumberland County
“Families are at the heart of our work and I’m very excited that we will be able to pass down significant savings, starting with 25 per cent. For some of the families who attend North End Daycare, child-care costs take up to 50 per cent of their budget. This reduction will allow our families to use money for other things that benefit them and their children.”
– Karen Wright, Executive Director, North End Day Care
— the 25 per cent reduction is an initial step in reducing child-care fees for Nova Scotian families by 50 per cent, on average, by the end of 2022, and in achieving an average of $10-a-day child care by March 31, 2026
— the fee reductions in licensed, funded child-care centres are based on 2019 fees
— licensed, funded child-care providers are receiving additional financial supports this year through their annual funding agreement, including funding to offset the 25 per cent fee reduction for parents and a one-time grant to support a freeze on parent fees that took effect in July 2021
A breakdown of daily fee reduction amounts can be found at: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/childcare
The Province is creating a new engagement table on child care and inviting interested Nova Scotians to apply to be members by April 8, using the online form at: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/childcare