Improved Support for Children and Families
-- $9.1 million for Early Childhood Development Program.
-- Nova Scotia Child Benefit increases.
-- $3 million to support children with special needs.
Nova Scotia is increasing its commitment to help children get the
best possible start in life.
To support new parents and young children, $9.1 million will be
invested to create the Early Childhood Development Program. This
program will include a comprehensive home visiting program for
expecting and new mothers -- in their homes, in the hospital, and
back in their communities. Over four years, this program will
also help create new nursing positions and "lay" visitor
positions to support the new mother and her family as much as
Government also recognizes the need for enhanced child-care
services and will provide start-up grants for non-profit child
care centres and new grants to increase salaries to retain and
recruit competent, caring staff to look after our children.
Addressing child poverty is also a top priority for government.
Beginning in July 2001, the Nova Scotia Child Benefit (NSCB) will
increase and, combined with the National Child Benefit, will
provide a standard benefit of $1,700 per year to all children in
low-income families. The combined standard benefit will replace
children’s personal allowances in social assistance budgets. This
restructuring of rates will eliminate future clawbacks of the NCB
from social assistance recipients. Also, because it is now
indexed to the cost of living, families receiving social
assistance can look forward to annual increases.
Community Services’ budget also includes taking on an additional
$11 million in social assistance costs from municipalities as
part of the municipal-provincial agreement signed in 1998. This
is year four of a five-year plan for the province to assume the
full $44-million cost of social services.
Children of all ages have different needs. Approximately 17 per
cent of school-aged children receive some form of special help.
This budget continues to support children with special needs with
an additional $3 million to improve programs and services.
Funding will help build a comprehensive special education system
that provides a more consistent and accessible level of service
province-wide. As well, professional development support for
teachers and others in the education system will assist them in
specialized planning and supports for students with special
Contacts: Michelle Whelan
Department of Education
NOTE: For other 2001-02 budget information, visit the Department
of Finance Web site at www.gov.ns.ca/finance
kjd March 29, 2001 2:49 P.M.