More Nova Scotia Children to Have Access to Licensed Child Care

Department of Community Services

November 21, 2007 10:05 AM

The Nova Scotia government is moving full-steam ahead with the Early Learning and Child Care Plan announcing more spaces, a plan to keep and recruit trained staff and helping more families afford licensed child care.

Premier Rodney MacDonald and Community Services Minister Judy Streatch announced today, Nov.21, at the Family Home Child Care Society of Pictou County in Stellarton, five child-care initiatives, supported by a $5.2-million investment.

"We want the children of this province to have the best start in life," Premier Rodney MacDonald said. "Government recognizes how important it is for children to have access to quality child care and early learning. That is why we are pleased to support the development of about 500 new spaces and help Nova Scotia families have access to quality care for their children."

The rules around income eligibility for subsidies are also changing. "We are committed to making child care more affordable to more families who are working hard to increase their self-reliance," the premier said.

"More children in day-care centres require more people working with them," said Ms. Streatch. "That's why we are developing a recruitment and retention strategy that will help the sector recruit new staff, as well as provide higher wages, education and training for the caring, dedicated staff already working at our centres."

Along with the increased number of spaces, the initiatives include:
-- change in income eligibility, meaning more families will qualify for child care subsidy, making child care more accessible and affordable.
-- an enhanced stabilization grant to provide more funding to licensed child care centres in accordance with the level of early childhood education and training of staff. This funding will enhance staff wages.
-- developing a recruitment and retention strategy to encourage potential teachers to work in early childhood education and to retain current members of the workforce.
-- extending the child care operating grant to include school-aged children which is directly tied to increasing wages and benefits of child care staff.

Under Nova Scotia's Early Learning and Child Care Plan, a total of 1,000 spaces will be created by year five of the 10-year plan. More information is available at www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/ELCCProgram.html .


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Premier Rodney MacDonald and Community Services Minister

Judy Streatch announced today (November 21st) they are moving

full-steam ahead with the Early Learning and Child Care Plan

announcing more spaces, a plan to keep and recruit trained staff

and helping more families afford licensed child care.

     Specifically, they announced five child care initiatives,

supported by a five-point-two-million-dollar investment this

year, at the Family Home Child Care Society of Pictou County in

Stellarton.

     Premier Rodney MacDonald says he wants the children of the

province to have the best start in life and recognizes how

important it is for children to have access to quality child care

and early learning.

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Media Contact: Krista Grant
              Community Services
              902-424-4449
              E-mail:grantkl@gov.ns.ca