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Beginning in April parents in Nova Scotia will no longer be charged waitlist or registration fees to attend provincially licenced and funded early learning and child-care programs.


The 2024-25 child-care operator funding agreements with the Department Education and Early Childhood Development bans wait-list and registration fees.


“In the fall, I promised to end the practice of wait-list fees as part of our commitment to inclusive, accessible and affordable childcare for families. I am very happy to say these extra fees will no longer be something parents have to worry about.”


The updated agreements will also include a one-time grant to offset rising operating costs for provincially licenced and funded child-care providers and for those delivering the Nova Scotia Before and After Program. These grants represent a total investment of $9.7 million.


The new operator funding agreements will take effect on April 1 and include additional funding to reflect minimum wage increases and for group benefits and a defined benefits pension plan for all staff working in provincially licensed and funded childcare, announced in December 2023.


The agreements also require operators to have property insurance. 


ECEs working in provincially licensed and funded child-care centres and family home agencies will receive hourly wage increases of between $3.14 and $4.24 starting April 1.


The agreements are funded in part by the federal government as part of the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.


Under the agreement, since 2022, parents in Nova Scotia have paid an average of 50 per cent less for childcare, with work underway to achieve an average cost of $10 per day by March 31, 2026, as part of the bilateral agreement.



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