It will soon be easier and more affordable for families to access licensed child care in Nova Scotia.
Today, June 1, the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia announced that 1,500 new licensed early learning and child-care spaces will be created across the province by December 31, 2022. Families using these new spaces will receive the same 25 per cent fee reduction as those using existing licensed child care and the 50 per cent reduction that will take effect by the end of 2022.
“This is historic for communities across the province, including those where licensed child care has previously been unavailable, such as in Ingonish,” said Becky Druhan, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “An increase in licensed child-care spaces means more child-care options that are high-quality, affordable and offer families peace of mind.”
The new spaces are funded through the $29 million invested this year in child-care space expansion under the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. They are being created at 45 not-for-profit centres and seven family home child-care agencies.
The new spaces include:
— the East Preston Day Care Centre in East Preston will add eight new infant spaces at its existing site and 60 new infant and toddler spaces at its new location at the Akoma Family Centre in Dartmouth
— the Taigh Curaim Day Care Society in Baddeck will expand to Ingonish and create 24 new spaces for infants, toddlers and three-year-olds; this is the first time Ingonish residents will have access to licensed child care in the community
— Little People’s Place in Shelburne will create 32 new spaces, including infant, toddler and preschool care
— the Cape Breton Family Place, a licensed family home child care agency, will add 12 new home child-care providers in the counties of Richmond, Victoria and Inverness and in Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
Work also continues on Nova Scotia’s Excellence in Early Childhood Education Workforce Strategy, which will result in a compensation package for early childhood educators this fall.
The Government of Canada made a transformative investment to build a Canada-wide early learning and child-care system in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners. To support the goal of ensuring families’ access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care, the Government of Canada is contributing $605 million for Nova Scotia from 2021-22 to 2025-26, in addition to $58 million over the same four years for the Canada-Nova Scotia Early Learning and Child Care Extension Agreement, and a one-time investment of about $10.9 million in 2021-22 to support Nova Scotia’s early childhood workforce.
“Every child deserves the best start in life. These additional licensed child-care spaces will allow more Nova Scotia children and families across the province to access high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care.”
– Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“The many trailblazers in early child education before us have demonstrated the need for quality child care and education in our society. I want to recognize their dedication to the field and their hard work. By ensuring more families have access to affordable, quality child care in their community, we are setting our province up for future success and growth.”
– Trina Fraser, Executive Director, East Preston Day Care Centre
“I am so happy to hear about the new child-care spaces being available in East Preston. I love that my children and others alike can be cared for in one of our home communities. The legacy of East Preston Day Care is one to celebrate and an expansion can only build upon this legacy!”
– Rajean Willis, parent of two young children, East Preston
— the breakdown of the 1,500 spaces includes 1,250 through not-for-profit centres, with the remaining spaces with new home-care providers through seven licensed family home child care agencies
— an expression of intent was issued in October to not-for-profit providers looking to expand; projects were evaluated based on community need, population growth, organizational capacity and the use of existing infrastructure and partnerships
— through the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, fees for licensed child-care spaces were reduced by 25 per cent, on average, retroactive to January 1, 2022
— 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 per day child care by March 31, 2026
A list of the approved projects can be found here: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/childcare/information-for-families
More information about child care: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/childcare