January 14, 2022
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia was the second jurisdiction to sign an early learning and child care agreement with the federal government last July, but it is first to put in place the essentials for a quality system.
As Premier Huston stressed the province is embarking on an ‘historic transformation’. By converting its majority for-profit daycare services and incorporating them into a new publicly- managed system, Nova Scotia is creating the foundation needed to deliver affordable, accessible early learning and care, staffed by a qualified and well compensated workforce.
While officials are understandably motivated by child care’s ability to support the economy by growing the labour force, it was the parents at today’s announcement who reminded us that it is children who are the prime users of child care. Dr. Jessie-Lee McIsaac and other parents spoke of how they value educators and their ability to create wonderful spaces that foster children´s “kindness, curiosity and imagination”. These are the 21st century assets the new generation will need to tackle the challenging world bequeathed them.
Often overlooked among the front line heroines of the COVID pandemic, it was fitting that government officials recognized the indispensable role of early childhood educators to the success of the Canada-wide early learning and child care initiative and committed to real, sustainable improvements in their wages, benefits and training supports.
Families will applaud the retroactive reduction in their child care fees and the ambitious target of 1,500 new non-profit spaces by year end, the first installment on 9,500 new spaces by 2026.
For Canadians it was gratifying to see how intergovernmental cooperation can accelerate policy for the benefit of children, families, and the economy. Together they have created something very special for Nova Scotia. There is much in today’s historic announcement for others to emulate.
For more information on today’s release: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20220114001