Media Release: Child Care Now Nova Scotia Calls on Federal and Provincial Governments to Invest More

PRESS RELEASE

CHILD CARE NOW NOVA SCOTIA CALLS ON FEDERAL AND PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENTS TO INVEST MORE

JUNE 29, 2023, KJPUKTUK/HALIFAX (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) – Yesterday, the federal government announced the Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund, with $625 million in capital investment in child care over four years to create new not-for-profit and public child care facilities.

While Child Care Now Nova Scotia is glad to see this fund realized, as we outline in this new article, concerns remain given the scale of what is needed. Child Care Now Nova Scotia has concluded this funding is not enough to meaningfully improve child care access for families, and especially not without additional support for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs).

“We can’t talk about child care spaces without talking about the ECEs providing care and early learning to the children who fill them,” says Amber Rehill, parent and member of the Child Care Nova NS Steering Committee. “Any infrastructure funding needs to be accompanied by more core funding support for ECE compensation, if it is to have any meaningful impact on child care access.”

As ECEs across the province have advocated, Nova Scotia’s ECE wage grid is insufficient to attract enough new ECEs to the sector. We also risk losing experienced ECEs unless the province offers them more generous wages along with pensions, leaves, and other benefits. The recruitment and retention of ECEs will not be successful unless their value, education, training and experience, are recognized as central to child care expansion.

As nearly half (47%) of young children in Nova Scotia do not have access to child care, meaningful expansion is critically needed. Though there has been significant investment in expansion, we have yet to see results. The provincial government has not released any Progress Report, which is critical to hold the government to account on targets set out in the bilateral agreement, on spaces as well as other critical components of child care system-building.

“Federal funding to create additional child care spaces, and expand access into rural and remote communities, is so needed in Nova Scotia, but our slice of this Fund alone won’t get us there,” says Kenya Thompson, interim Coordinator of Child Care Now Nova Scotia. “We need a stronger wage grid from the province. We cannot afford to lose any ECEs, nor any more spaces. These issues go hand-in-hand.”


Child Care Now NS was founded to advocate for a universal, comprehensive, publicly funded, high quality, affordable, accessible, accountable, and not-for-profit Early Learning and Child Care system in Nova Scotia. 

For more information and to arrange an interview, please contact Kenya Thompson at (778) 581-2057 (cell) or novascotia@childcarenow.ca