STEP 3: Help with the Cost of Child Care
Child Care Subsidy
Nova Scotia’s child care subsidy helps eligible families pay for licensed or regulated child care. The Department of Community Services provides subsidies to the child care centre or family home day care on your behalf. The subsidy is attached to your child, not the child care centre. If you decide to change child care centres, the subsidy goes with you.
Who can apply?
Subsidies are available if your child is 12 years or under and applying for full-day licensed or regulated child care. Eligibility is also based on your family’s social need, residency status, liquid assets, and financial criteria. You must be eligible in all areas to qualify for child care subsidy.
How to apply
You can apply for child care subsidy using one of the following methods:
- contact a child care subsidy caseworker through your local Commuity Services office
- download and print an application form and mail it to the Department of Community Services
- pick up an application form at a child care centre, family home day care agency, or your local Community Services office
Most applications are mailed in and reviewed by a child care subsidy caseworker. You'll have to provide proof of your income (i.e. income tax Notice of Assessment) and your Social Insurance Number with your application. In some cases, an interview may be scheduled with a caseworker.
Child Care Fees
It is your responsibility to find a child care centre or family home day care for your child. You will need to let the Child Care Subsidy Caseworker know when your child will be starting and what the daily fees are.
Paying Child Care Fees
If approved for subsidy, your caseworker will let you know how much the government will contribute toward your daily child care costs. Your child care centre or family home day will bill Community Services directly. Be sure to keep copies of all forms related to your child care subsidy application.
Eligibility for child care subsidy must be re-established every 12 months, or more often if determined by the caseworker. If you are receiving a subsidy, you are required to notify your caseworker of any changes in your financial circumstances within seven (7) days of the change. If you fail to notify your caseworker, you may lose your subsidy and/or have to repay the subsidy you've already received.