Shomporko Online News Desk: Child care in Nova Scotia will cost an average of $10 per day in five years, according to the province and the federal government.
Premier Iain Rankin of Nova Scotia and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement at a news conference on Tuesday morning, promising $605 million in funding.
Over the course of the five-year agreement, the province will contribute $40 million.
In a statement, Prime Minister Trudeau said, “Today’s agreement with Nova Scotia is a huge step forward in making $10-a-day child care a reality across the province, and offering much-needed help to families and communities as we recover from the pandemic.”
Ottawa’s boost to child care and the $10-a-day child care goal was highlighted in the 2021 federal budget, which aims to have it implemented everywhere outside of Quebec by 2022.
According to a provincial release, the combined funding over a 5-year span will focus on reducing child care fees by an average of 50 per cent by Dec. 31, 2022, in Nova Scotia.
The plan also seeks to ensure that child care fees are on average $10 per day by 2026.
With this funding, the province said it’s set to create at least 9,500 new early learning and child-care spaces by March 31, 2025, including new spaces for infants and toddlers, and a new three-year-old early learning program with priority access given to vulnerable and equity-seeking families.
It’s also meant to enhance before and aftercare options at schools.
Tuesday’s announcement, which was based in Halifax but saw Trudeau participate virtually from Ottawa, comes as the Liberal Rankin government is expected to call a summer election in the coming days.
An additional $22.5 million in federal funding was also announced Tuesday.
The province said the additional funding will help in providing higher wages for early childhood educators (ECEs) and free tuition, books, and bursaries for hundreds of ECEs.
The investment is meant to address issues identified by the sector and support ECEs in their learning and career.
The province said the money will go to the following key initiatives:
Providing a one-time grant of $500 for trained ECEs who work in provincially funded child-care centers.
Developing a compensation framework for ECEs working in government-funded licensed child-care facilities to improve pay and benefits. The new framework is expected to be completed by 2022.
Supporting ECEs with career navigation support.
Moving toward professional recognition by introducing a regulated certification process for ECEs.
Providing free tuition and books for over 300 staff currently working in child care and pre-primary without a diploma, including designated seats for Mi’kmaw/Indigenous peoples, Black/African Nova Scotians, Acadian/francophone Nova Scotians.
Providing bursaries to 300 students currently enrolled in full-time ECE diploma/degree programs in Nova Scotia, and more for students from equity-seeking groups. Working closely with public schools to ensure they are supported to help students who are considering ECE as a career.
Establishing a post-diploma certificate training program through the Advanced Practitioner Program in Early Childhood Education, allowing qualified ECEs to specialize and advance in a particular area of practice.
Source_ the Star