HALIFAX — Nova Scotia has become the second province to sign a deal with Ottawa for regulated child care spaces that would lower the average cost of care to $10 per day over a five-year period.
The federal government's recent budget included more than $27.2 billion on child care for the provinces, provided they agree to targets on affordability, quality of care and training of early childhood educators.
Nova Scotia's Liberal government is joining British Columbia's NDP in accepting Ottawa's offer, and it has pledged to spend $605 million over the next five years on child care for children under the age of six.
A news release today from the federal government says Nova Scotia will achieve an average parent fee of $10 per day for all regulated child care spaces for children under six by the end of the 2025-26 fiscal year.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said today during a virtual news conference that by the end of 2022, Nova Scotians will see a 50 per cent reduction in the average cost of child care in regulated centres for children under six.
Trudeau says the agreement will create 4,000 new, regulated early learning and child care spaces within two years and a total of 9,500 spaces by the 2025-26 fiscal year.
Ottawa says the deal with Nova Scotia will expand not-for-profit and public delivery of early learning and child care "with the goal of moving to a fully not-for-profit and publicly managed system."
"I’m proud that our province is at the forefront of making this a reality for Nova Scotian families," Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin told reporters at the news conference, adding he is expecting his first child in November.
Nova Scotia currently invests $132.6 million in early learning and child care annually, including $54 million for pre-primary and more than $75 million for the child care sector.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2021.
The Canadian Press