July 13, 2021
Nova Scotia is Canada’s new leader in early learning and child care. Today’s announcement contains all the elements needed to convert child care from a market service to a public good in the service of young children and their families.
Nova Scotia knows how to build an early learning system. A provincial body will manage child care including planning and overseeing expansion to ensure every family in every corner of Nova Scotia has equitable access. It will administer the wages and benefits of educators, as well as parent fees and centre finances while ensuring quality and safety requirements and providing public accountability. This MUST be central to all provincial and territorial child care plans. Without strong public management the current patchwork of services will only grow.
Nova Scotia knows educators count and will support them with higher wages and benefits, free education and a workforce strategy to ensure they can stay and grow in their profession.
Nova Scotia knows how to build smart! Expanding Preprimary to include 3 year olds in schools is a further step towards early learning as an entitlement; a service open to children because they are children, not because their parents need to work. By expanding Preprimary to include 3 year olds, early learning and care evolves from being a game of chance to a child's right.
From this foundation Nova Scotia will benefit with stronger families, a stronger economy and a new generation better able to take on the difficult world challenges they will confront.
Hon. Margaret Norrie McCain, Chair