Canada’s child care advocates congratulate the Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia for reaching a child care funding agreement that puts in place crucial guardrails for building a universal publicly managed and not for profit system of early learning and child care in the province.
“This agreement will lead to big changes in child care in Nova Scotia including a new approach to the public funding of licensed services so that parent fees can be reduced dramatically at the same time as the compensation of early childhood educators is improved, and while new inclusive services are put in place so that many more children can have access,” said Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of Child Care Now.
Ballantyne said the following aspects of the agreement were particularly important:
- Average parent fees for regulated child care programs will be reduced by 50 per cent for children under the age of 6, and parents will pay an average of $10 per day within five years
- A plan to expand not-for-profit and public delivery of regulated services will be developed in consultation with stakeholders and communities; 9,500 new spaces will be put in place by 2025-2026
- The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia will create an implementation committee to monitor progress on child care commitments in consultation with stakeholders
- Enhanced before and after care for 3-5 year-olds in school-based programs
- The provincial government will create a new public agency to manage the provision of regulated child care in the province
- Measures will be taken to address child care workforce issues; they will include raising wages and benefits through the implementation of compensation framework by 2022.
“This second federal-provincial child care agreement, like the federal government agreement with British Columbia, is a crucial step forward in building the kind of Canada-wide system of early learning and child care that we need–one that is good for children, for parents–particularly mothers–and one that will accelerate economic recovery for all,” said Ballantyne.