N.S. announces more funding for child-care centres

Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. (Submitted photo).

HALIFAX: Nova Scotia will be investing more in in the child-care system that thousands of Nova Scotia families rely on to care for their young children.

Child-care operators will receive more funding for infant spaces, rising operational costs and staff wages under new annual agreements with the Province.

“It’s important that young children have the best start, and Nova Scotia’s child-care operators are doing their best to provide quality care while also facing rising operating costs,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Becky Druhan.

“This agreement increases funding for the year and follows the recent three per cent wage boost for early childhood educators as part of our promise made last fall for regular public sector wage increases.”

The daily funding amount child-care operators receive for infant programs will more than double to support the addition of infant spaces across the province. The new amount is $10 per day per infant space for centre and home-based operators.

The new funding agreements also include:
— a one-time grant, with a median rate of about $17,300 for centres, that will help address rising operational costs; it will be available to centre-based operators, family home providers, and the Nova Scotia Before and After Program
— an added wage premium of $1.50 per hour for early childhood educators (ECEs) with advanced practitioner program certificates
— grants for family home child-care providers who are trained ECEs
— additional funding to centres for untrained staff to reflect minimum wage increases.

The additional supports in the annual funding agreements total about $12 million through the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

“We want the best possible start in life for all children in Canada. This funding will help ensure child-care providers can continue to provide access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care across Nova Scotia.”
     – Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“This is welcome news for child-care providers across the province. Minister Druhan said she is wrapping her arms around the private sector, and that is evident with this news.

“After the uncertainty of the past year, it is clear the Province is working to build trust with the private sector.”
     – Helen Gamble, Owner/Director of Health Park Early Learning Centre, Sydney