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Province moves ahead on Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child-Care System

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Government of Nova Scotia
Press release
Publication Date: 
15 Oct 2021

Excerpted from news release

Nova Scotia is taking the next step toward affordable, accessible, high-quality and inclusive child care for all families.

Today, October 15, the Province released expressions of intent (EOI) to Nova Scotia’s not-for-profit child-care operators and those delivering the Nova Scotia Before and After Program. The Province is asking them to indicate their interest in expanding as it aims to create 9,500 new spaces for children under six, with a priority on communities where specific services are most needed.

This step comes as Nova Scotia moves to a 50 per cent reduction in child-care fees by the end of 2022 and a further reduction to $10 a day by March 31, 2026.

“Safe, affordable, quality child care should be available to every family in Nova Scotia,” said Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “Our goal is accessible child care in every community at a price that is affordable for all.”

The EOI will help implement the historic agreement Nova Scotia signed with the federal government in July to transform Nova Scotia’s early learning and child-care system. The $605 million Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement will accomplish the following:

  • reduce child-care fees by an average of 50 per cent by December 31, 2022
  • ensure child-care fees are, on average, $10 per day by March 31, 2026
  • create at least 9,500 new early learning and child-care spaces by March 31, 2026, including new spaces for infants and toddlers, and
  • enhance care options at schools for before and after school, prioritizing children aged five and under.

Nova Scotia will introduce new funding models, reduced fees, a compensation framework for early childhood educators and a renewed subsidy program for families.

Under the terms of the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, Nova Scotia must create new spaces in not-for-profit, publicly funded child care.

The Province is committed to working with all existing for-profit or commercial child-care operators who want an opportunity to join the Canada-wide system through an expression-of-interest process. All for-profit or commercial child-care programs that were licensed and provincially funded as of July 13, 2021, are able to take part in the new Canada-wide system, and receive funding to support items such as lower parent fees, as long as they follow the terms and conditions of the agreement.

This EOI process will serve as a first step for the for-profit or commercial child-care sector to understand and explore what it will mean to become part of the Canada-wide early learning and child-care system.

Quick Facts:

  • Nova Scotia invests $132.6 million in early learning and child care annually, including $54 million for pre-primary and over $75 million for the child-care sector
  • there are 331 licensed child-care centres in Nova Scotia and 14 licensed Family Home Child Care Agencies

Additional Resources:

More information about the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement can be found at:

More information about Nova Scotia’s Excellence in Early Childhood Education workforce strategy can be found at: