News release

Quality Child Care Through Quality People

Just ask the "Wilderbeats": they'll tell you the early years of life lay the foundation for lifelong health and well-being. The popular children's entertainers wowed a crowd of youngsters at a ceremony recognizing June as Child Care Awareness Days. Community Services Minister Peter Christie joined in the celebrations with children, parents and child-care teachers today at Province House.

"The federal, provincial and territorial governments agree that early childhood development is a priority," said Mr. Christie. "This year, government partners will continue to provide funding to attract and keep quality child-care teachers. Also under the Early Childhood Development strategy, we will provide more training opportunities for child-care teachers."
"This is an exciting time to be involved in early childhood development," said Karen Geddes, president of Child Care Connection Nova Scotia. "We've begun to see improved salaries through the Early Childhood Development Stabilization Grants. That's very positive because it will result in more of our qualified teachers staying in child-care centres -- and it's the children who will gain the most from that."

The government of Canada has committed $2.2 billion to fund early childhood development over a five-year period which began in 2001. Nova Scotia's portion is $66 million.

In Nova Scotia, the Day Care Act governs the licensing of child- care programs. The Department of Community Services provides subsidy funding for parents unable to pay the full child-care fee.

Child Care Awareness Days recognizes child-care teachers and the important contribution they make to the province's economic and social well-being. Activities across the province include family fun fairs, open houses and mall displays.

Child Care Awareness Days are sponsored by Child Care Connection Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Round Table on Child Care and the Department of Community Services, as well as community sponsors. For more information and a complete list of Child Care Awareness Days activities, please call 902-423-8199 or toll free at 1-800- 565-8199.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

A herd of Wilderbeats entertained children at Province House this morning. The entertainers were on hand to recognize June as Child Care Awareness Days.

This year's theme is Quality child care through quality people.

Community Services Minister Peter Christie spoke about the agreement between the federal, provincial and territorial governments to make early childhood development a priority. Mr. Christie said the Early Childhood Development Stabilization Grants are helping attract and keep quality child-care teachers. The minister also pointed to new opportunities for training under the agreement.

Child Care Awareness Days are sponsored by Child Care Connection Nova Scotia, the Nova Scotia Round Table on Child Care and the Department of Community Services, as well as community sponsors.

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Contact:

Elaine Ferguson
Child Care Connection Nova Scotia 902-423-8199 E-mail:
Steve Bone
Department of Community Services 902-424-4326 E-mail:
kjd            June 3, 2002        9:51 A.M.