News release

Minister Supports Nova Scotia Child-Care System

COMMUNITY SERVICES--Minister Supports Nova Scotia Child-Care System


Nova Scotia's children and families will have more access to quality child care as the result of a new funding framework for child care signed with the federal government. Community Services Minister David Morse agreed to the framework today, March 13, on behalf of Nova Scotia at a meeting of federal, provincial and territorial ministers in Toronto.

The new framework ensures funding goes to provincially regulated child-care services, while recognizing the need for flexibility to address local needs and priorities.

"This funding will allow us to build on the solid foundation we've already laid for child care in Nova Scotia," said Mr. Morse. "Through our recent investments in child-care seats, staff training and salaries, we're now in a position to offer new child-care options to more families across the province."

As part of the five-year federal funding plan, Nova Scotia expects to receive $775,000 later this year and $2.3 million next year.

Under Nova Scotia's Early Childhood Development Initiative, the province has invested more than $11 million in the child-care sector and early childhood development since November 2001. This includes $7 million to enhance wages in child-care centres across the province, and another $1 million for more training opportunities for early childhood educators.

Another $450,000 has been provided to create Child Care Resource and Referral Centres that provide parents with referrals to local caregivers and information on choosing quality child care. An additional $750,000 has been used to support programs that help children with special needs access licensed child care.

Child-care start-up and expansion grants have led to the addition of more than 325 new full-day spaces and 74 part-day spaces in centres across the province. Low- and moderate-income families have benefitted from 200 new subsidized portable child-care spaces, which parents can take with them if they move to another area of the province. Additional spaces are expected to be announced this spring.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Community Services Minister David Morse says Nova Scotia's children and families will have more access to quality child care thanks to a plan approved at a federal-provincial ministers' meeting in Toronto today, March 13th.

The new framework ensures that funding goes to provincially regulated child-care services, while recognizing the need for flexibility to address local needs and priorities.

As part of the five-year federal funding plan, Nova Scotia expects to receive 775-thousand dollars later this year and 2.3- million dollars next year.

New child-care seats are expected to be announced this spring.

Under Nova Scotia's Early Childhood Development Initiative, the province has already invested more than 11-million dollars in the child-care sector and early childhood development since November 2001.

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Contact:

Cathy MacIsaac
Community Services 902-424-6283 E-mail:
kjd            March 13, 2003      4:35 P.M.