New child care space going up in Port Hood

HALIFAX: Children and families will have improved access to child care from a $2.4 million investment that will create more than 750 new spaces.

Thirteen regulated child care centres and 14 regulated family home child care agencies were awarded $2.4 million in Strategic Growth Initiative funding. In the Strait area, the Bayview Child Care Centre in Inverness County was approved for $100,000 for a new centre.

Funding for these spaces and other investments come from a three-year, $35 million early learning and child care funding agreement with the federal government that was signed in January 2018.

“When children have access to affordable, quality and inclusive play-based child care they develop the skills they need to succeed in school and in later life,” said Iain Rankin, Minister of Lands and Forestry on behalf of Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “We know that greater access to regulated early learning and child care is critical for child development. That’s why we’ve added 2,245 new spaces since 2014.”

The child care sector will also have access to another $5.9 million that will help it grow and meet the needs of the communities it serves.

“The Government of Canada is committed to helping middle class families access quality early learning and child care,” said Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Today’s announcement is a big step towards ensuring that children get the best start in life and delivering better high-quality and affordable child care for families across Nova Scotia.”

Between March and September 2018, child care centres applied to receive Strategic Growth Initiative funding. As a result, 13 operators will receive a total of $695,000 to expand or open 455 new child care spaces in eight regions, with $1.1 million remaining for them to help with annual operating costs.

Fourteen regulated family home child care agencies will receive $372,000 to create and sustain 301 new spaces through the addition of 43 approved family home child care sites, with $227,000 remaining for them to help with annual operating costs.

These new spaces will help families with infants, toddlers, pre-school and pre-primary-aged children in communities where child care is difficult to get.

The additional $5.9 million will be used to offer a second round of funding for the Strategic Growth Initiative and Space Conversion Grant, and to create a new Program Enhancement Grant for non-profit centres.

More information about these programs and a breakdown of the investment is available at: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/docs/strat-growth-factsheet-010919.pdf.