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Higgs government wants to reopen child-care deal with Ottawa

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Education minister says province needs more flexibility to fund spaces in private, for-profit daycares
Poitras, Jacques
Publication Date: 
27 Oct 2023


The Higgs government says it needs to renegotiate its 2022 child-care agreement with the federal government to address a long wait list for spaces in the province.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Bill Hogan wants more flexibility to allocate some funding to for-profit daycares that would become eligible for subsidized spaces under the deal.

The agreement signed in April 2022 requires the funding to go to designated not-for-profit child-care centres.


But Opposition Liberal Leader Susan Holt questioned Hogan's claim that the restriction on funding for-profit daycares was the obstacle.

She pointed to existing centres, such as the Carrefour Beausoleil in Miramichi, that she said are designated, not-for-profit and ready to expand if they can access the funding.

"He can help New Brunswickers today and he's not doing it," Holt said.

Around 3,000 families are on a waiting list for daycare spaces around the province. 


In question period, Holt said the 550 spaces described in the throne speech for this year don't go far enough to address the existing long wait list.


The five-year federal-provincial agreement is worth $544 million, with Ottawa paying $492 million and New Brunswick putting in $53 million.

The province has also increased wages in the child-care sector, though Green MLA Kevin Arseneau said many workers are still leaving for better salaries as teacher assistants in the public school system.