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Nova Scotia to eliminate child-care registration and wait-list fees

Nova Scotia's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa on July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Nova Scotia's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa on July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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The Nova Scotia government announced it will eliminate child-care wait-list and registration fees for provincially licensed programs.

The provincial Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will ban the fees on April 1, according to a government news release.

Becky Druhan, minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, says eliminating wait-list and registration fees makes child care more inclusive, accessible and affordable for families.

“I am very happy to say these extra fees will no longer be something parents have to worry about,” Druhan writes in the release.

The ban falls under multiple child-care funding agreements between the federal and provincial government, which the province says totals $9.7 million in spending for the 2024-25 year.

The province says it will also provide a one-time grant to cover some of the rising operating costs for provincially licensed and funded child-care providers. People or businesses delivering the Nova Scotia Before and After Program can apply for the grant as well.

The province will also increase hourly wages for licensed early childhood educators between $3.14 and $4.24 on April 1.

The government will also fund entry-level staff “to reflect minimum wage increases,” but does not specify how much the wages will increase in the release.

There will be increased funding for “group benefits and a defined benefits pension plan for all staff working in provincially licensed and funded child care facilities,” the government writes in the release.

Employees can start enrolling in those group benefits and pension plans in May.

Under these new agreements, the government says early childhood education operators must have property insurance.

“I want to commend Nova Scotia for its incredible work on improving access to high-quality regulated child care in the province by supporting its early learning and child-care workforce and regulated child-care providers, and by making wait-list and registration fees a thing of the past for parents,” says Jenna Sudds, federal minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

For more Nova Scotia news visit our dedicated provincial page.

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