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Moving forward on early learning and child care: Agreement-in-principle between the government of Canada and the government of Nova Scotia

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Government of Canada & Government of Nova Scotia
government document
Publication Date: 
16 May 2005

Excerpts from the agreement:

The Government of Canada and the Government of Nova Scotia have developed this Agreement to articulate their shared vision for early learning and child care. This agreement outlines objectives and investments to achieve that vision. Further to this the Government of Nova Scotia is holding meetings with representatives of the child care sector. These discussions will address improvements in the following areas:

1. Subsidy rates;
2. Operational grants;
3. Revised criteria for eligibility for families for subsidized spaces; and
4. Improved retention and training supports for early childhood educators and child care providers.

At the same time, Nova Scotia commits to participating with its federal, provincial and territorial partners in a multilateral process to create an overarching learning and child care framework for all Canadians, which meets the unique circumstances and priorities of each jurisdiction. Nova Scotia's vision is to ensure all Nova Scotian children enjoy a good start in life and are nurtured and supported by caring families and communities. The province's goals for early learning and child care are that:

- Children have the best possible early learning and child care experiences and are safe and secure;
- Families have support and assistance from the people and communities around them to raise healthy children; and
- Families have practical solutions to the barriers they face.

This Agreement will help the province achieve these goals.

Nova Scotia's publication "Our Children …Today's Investment, Tomorrow's Promise" (May 2001), outlined the province's vision for a comprehensive system of early childhood development. With financial support from the Government of Canada, Nova Scotia has provided wage grants to retain qualified and caring staff; made early learning and child care more affordable and accessible through an increased subsidy per diem and additional early learning and child care spaces including subsidized spaces; supported enhanced inclusive programming for children with special needs; and strengthened early childhood education training opportunities. The Nova Scotia Government continues to consult with the early learning childhood sector as is evident by the current Child Care Subsidy Program Review Stakeholder Working Group.

The federal budget announced that the Government of Canada is committing $5 billion nationally over the next five years. Nova Scotia will be committing all additional federal money for early learning and child care to the fulfillment of the five-year plan. This further investment will complement existing federal and provincial investments in Nova Scotia and will support the development of regulated quality early learning and child care as a key element of a comprehensive approach to supporting children and families.

This initiative builds on early learning and child care investments made in Nova Scotia by the Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada and recognizes that flexibility is needed to address provincial priorities and circumstances.