More Nova Scotia families will have access to licensed early learning and child care
June 1, 2022 Halifax, Nova Scotia Employment and Social Development Canada
Child care is not just a social policy—it is an economic policy, too. Access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care will grow the economy, allow more women to enter the workforce and help give every Canadian child the best start in life. While reducing child care fees is important, it is just one part of the equation. That is why the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia are working together to increase the number of licensed child care spaces available in the province.
Today, Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, joined Becky Druhan, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, at East Preston Day Care to announce that 1,500 new licensed child care spaces will be created across Nova Scotia by December 31, 2022. The focus will be on creating spaces in areas of the province with limited access to child care services.
The ministers also noted that, as of January 1, families in Nova Scotia with children in licensed child care are benefiting from a 25% reduction in fees, and that they will receive an additional 25% reduction by the end of 2022.
As part of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Canada is investing $605 million over five years to help improve regulated early learning and child care for children.
Building a child care system that works for Canadians in every region of the country is a key part of the plan to make life more affordable for families while creating good jobs and growing the economy. As part of the Canada-wide early learning and child care agreements, the Government of Canada aims to create approximately 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by March 2026 to give families affordable child care options, no matter where they live. These new licensed spaces will be created predominantly among not-for-profit, public and family-based child care providers.
This plan is already making life more affordable for families. Nearly all of Canada’s provinces and territories, including Nova Scotia, have already seen reductions in child care fees, and, by the end of 2022, average fees for regulated early learning and child care spaces will be cut in half across the country.
“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.”
– Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
“This is historic for communities across the province, including those where licensed child care has previously been unavailable, such as in Ingonish. An increase in licensed child care spaces means more child care options that are high-quality and affordable and that offer families peace of mind.”
– Nova Scotia’s Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Becky Druhan
The breakdown of the 1,500 spaces includes 1,250 spaces through not-for-profit centres, with the remaining spaces in new home care providers through seven licensed family home child care agencies.
As part of the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, a total of 9,500 new licensed child care spaces are expected to be created across Nova Scotia by March 31, 2026.
Through the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, fees for licensed child care spaces were reduced by 25%, on average, on January 1. This is an initial step in reducing child care fees for Nova Scotian families by 50%, on average, by the end of 2022, and in achieving an average of $10-a-day child care by March 31, 2026.
In response to requests from provinces and territories, and to support the implementation of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $625 million over four years, beginning in 2023–2024, for an Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund. This funding will enable provinces and territories to make additional child care investments, including the building of new facilities.
The Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners; this includes a federal investment of almost $605 million for Nova Scotia from 2021–2022 to 2025–2026, 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 2021–2022 to support Nova Scotia’s early childhood workforce.
Nova Scotia invests $132.6 million in early learning and child care annually, including $54 million for pre-primary and over $75 million for the child care sector.
Investments in child care will benefit everyone across Canada. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
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