HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia's education minister says the province's decision to cut the school year short is aimed at alleviating the pressure on stressed-out parents.

Speaking after a cabinet meeting Thursday, Zach Churchill said some parents and guardians have enjoyed the at-home learning program offered by his department, but he made it clear there's been plenty of pushback as well.

Some critics have complained that Nova Scotia students had already missed too much school, given the fact it took at least two weeks for at-home learning program to begin after the March break.

"We've also heard from a lot of parents who have been struggling to juggle their work and personal lives with the additional pressure of having to support their children as students," Churchill told reporters during a conference call.

The province recently announced that the school year would end on June 5, about three weeks earlier than usual.

"We decided to close a bit early to give (parents) a break, and relieve some of that pressure they're feeling," Churchill said. "Closing a few weeks earlier will help alleviate some of that pressure."

He said parents eager to continue with at-home learning will be able to do so as the province will be offering learning materials through the summer.

Meanwhile, the minister confirmed that the province is working toward opening daycare centres next month, saying their operation is key to getting the economy up and running again.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 14, 2020.