Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and New Brunswick Premier Blaine Higgs revealed details of a child-care agreement that will see the price drop in 2022, and $10-a-day child care available across the province within the next five years.
Higgs said at a briefing Monday that families will see 50 per cent reduction in child-care fees by the end of 2022. That means on average families could see around $3,000 in savings.
This also comes with the goal of reaching an average of $10 per day by 2025/26.
“This allows more parents, especially moms to join the workforce,” said Trudeau.
The federal government is providing $491 million while the provincial government is contributing $53 million. This is in addition to the more than $70 million invested annually in the province’s early learning and child-care sector, the province said in a release.
According to the province, the agreement builds on the New Brunswick Early Learning Centre and New Brunswick Early Learning Home designation program, with the goal of increasing access to child care across the province.
Over the course of the agreement, 5,700 additional spaces will be made available within the designation program.
The wages of early childhood educators will also increase by nearly 25 per cent.
“Plans will be developed to provide more inclusive and flexible early learning and child care to vulnerable children, children with disabilities, and children from diverse populations,” the province said.
The agreement also includes “a clear commitment to work collaboratively with First Nations organizations and communities to better understand their needs and establish a plan for early learning and child-care services for Indigenous children.”
Beginning in the new year, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development said it will have ongoing consultations with parents and other stakeholders on the agreement’s key initiatives in the next five years.
So far, the federal Liberal government has inked deals with nine provinces and one territory on its $30-billion, five-year child care plan, which promises to cut child-care prices to an average of $10 per day across the country.
The plan requires that the provinces and territories sign on, and as of Monday Ontario, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are the only holdouts.