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Higher wages, retroactive pay for early childhood educators

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Government of Nova Scotia
Press release
Publication Date: 
11 Oct 2022


Higher wages are coming for Nova Scotia’s early childhood educators working in regulated child-care settings thanks to a new provincial investment and the federal government’s contribution under the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

Most of the 2,600 early childhood educators will see a wage increase in the range of 30 per cent, retroactive to July 4, 2022.

Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, and Mona Fortier, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, on behalf of Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, made the announcement today, October 11, at the Akerley campus of Nova Scotia Community College in Dartmouth.

“Early childhood educators do incredible, valuable work, and we are excited to make this significant investment that reflects their importance to children, families and the Nova Scotia economy,” said Minister Druhan. “This investment in wages is decades overdue. It will help grow the early childhood education workforce and the child-care sector overall as we transition to a publicly funded system that provides reliable, affordable, quality and accessible care to families. We understand that change impacts the operations of child care, and we will support centres as we work through these changes.”

The Province will provide additional funds to employers by November 1 to allow operators to pay staff in accordance with the new wage scale by mid-November.

Highlights of the announcement include:

  • a new wage scale for Level 1, 2 and 3 early childhood educators and directors working in licensed centres and family home child-care agencies that receive funding from the Province
  • wage increases retroactive to July 4, 2022
  • the wage increases will be between 14 and 43 per cent, depending on classification level and experience
  • wage increases will flow through employers (licensed, funded centres and agencies)
  • the cost is estimated at about $100 million a year, cost-shared through the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement; the Province currently pays about $25 million a year in wages to operators and the total additional new investment is about $75.4 million.

Early childhood educators in family home child-care centres will also benefit from the higher wages.

Minister Druhan said more work is needed on a benefits plan, including retirement benefits. That work continues, and the plan will be rolled out in 2023.

More information on early childhood educators’ compensation is available at:

More information on the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement is available at:


Early childhood educators are at the very heart of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system. Today’s announcement with Nova Scotia is a meaningful step in valuing their essential work and ensuring they have the support they need throughout their lifelong career.

- Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

This initiative, like other initiatives under the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement such as lowering of parent fees and creating new spaces, is setting the stage for transformational change. It is moving early learning and child care in Nova Scotia from a patchwork of services and service delivery models to a publicly funded and publicly managed system, one that recognizes child care as a common public good and not a market-based service where a parent is ‘lucky’ to find, afford or access suitable child care

- Christine McLean, associate professor, department of child and youth study, Mount Saint Vincent University

Early childhood educators are central to our early learning and child-care system. This is an important step in recognizing the value ECEs provide for the future of young Nova Scotians. I am looking forward to working collaboratively with all stakeholders on the implementation of this new system.

- Janessa Williams, early childhood educator and Executive Director, Needham Early Learning Centre

Quick Facts:

  • starting next year, the Province will be investing an additional $40 million annually, or $120 million over three years, into early learning and child care
  • the new wage compensation will cost an additional $75 million annually, $40 million of which is provincial funding
  • the Government of Canada is making a transformative investment to build a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system in partnership with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners; this includes a historic federal investment of almost $605 million for Nova Scotia from 2021-22 to 2025-26