As a parent, I understand the challenges families face when they need child care. Availability, cost, access to quality care — these are all real barriers and hurdles for Nova Scotia families.
The needs of families — the families accessing care today and the families looking for care in the future — are at the heart of the work currently underway to transform our child-care system through the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
The agreement supports a five-year journey to reduce daily fees for regulated child care to $10 per day, on average, to give families access to child care when and where they need it, and to ensure child-care providers are compensated fairly as they provide high quality care for our youngest Nova Scotians. We are building a system of child care that cares for everyone: families, children, early childhood educators and operators.
We need to realize this vision with the people who have the expertise, knowledge and passion to deliver high quality child care. I have committed to bring together people from the child-care community across Nova Scotia to ensure that the people who know this sector best provide input as we build the future of child care for Nova Scotians.
I want to assure the sector that we heard you and we listened. The Province will provide stable funding to offset the 25 per cent fee reductions for parents and a one-time grant to alleviate pressures facing child-care operators during this transition period.
We recognize and value the important role private operators, non-profit operators, and early childhood educators play in caring for our children. We want all operators to succeed and have the opportunity to become part of a historic system that serves children, families and the economy.
We remain committed to the principles of the agreement to ensure that Nova Scotians have high quality child care that is accessible, affordable and inclusive — child care that cares for everyone.