Minister Supports Nova Scotia Child-Care System

Department of Community Services

March 13, 2003 4:36 PM

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.

-30-

Contact: Cathy MacIsaac
         Community Services
         902-424-6283
         E-mail: maciscl@gov.ns.ca

kjd         March 13, 2003      4:35 P.M.