By: Hon. Lena Metlege Diab, Member of Parliament for Halifax West
To all students and families, I want to wish you all the best with the new school year!
Recently, we passed a big milestone: two years since our previous provincial government reached an agreement with the federal government on the future of early learning and child care in Nova Scotia. Since then, we’ve made a lot of progress in our work to add new child care spaces and reduce child care fees for families towards an average of $10 per day.
Nurturing resilient and supportive families and communities has always been a personal and political commitment of mine. It’s why I was so proud of the $605 million funding agreement we reached in 2021, and why I’ve been pleased to see that deal delivering significantly reduced costs for working families and expanded access to quality care—including in Halifax West.
Here’s some of the progress we’ve made since our game-changing child care agreement was announced two summers ago:
• In Nova Scotia, we achieved an average reduction of 50% in child care fees, and are still on track to reach $10-a-day childcare by 2026 at the latest.
• In October, Nova Scotia was able to announce a new Early Childhood Educator (ECE) wage scale, resulting in wage increases between 14 and 43 per cent—ensuring thousands of hardworking ECEs receive fair compensation.
• Hundreds of spaces are being added throughout HRM thanks to our agreement, including the 100 new child care spaces being created at the Maritime Muslim Academy in Clayton Park this fall. By Spring 2026, some 9,500 new spaces will be opened in Nova Scotia.
• Th e Prime Minister recently announced a $625 million Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund to help eligible child care providers create even more new spaces, particularly in underserved communities.
• We have also enshrined the fee reductions that our agreement provides into law by passing Bill C-35—guaranteeing savings for families going forward.
• A recent TD Economics report found that the labour force participation rate among women with children under six has skyrocketed since the pandemic, just as child care fees were coming down.
Of course, these measures are just the beginning of our ambitious vision for child care in Canada. We know that there’s still a lot of work ahead to ensure affordable, high-quality child care is available to all. With your continued support, I look forward to continuing this work in the fall session of Parliament and in the years ahead.