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Create Child Care Spaces – Funding Programs

Are you interested in bringing more child care spaces to your community?

Nova Scotia is committed to creating more early learning and child care spaces in licensed and provincially funded centres and family homes, and more wrap-around care spaces in the NS Before-and-After Program

Thousands of spaces have already opened, but we need more.

Grant programs to fund renovations, new child care builds, and more.

The Department has launched three grant programs to support the creation of new licensed and provincially funded early learning and child care spaces across Nova Scotia.


You may be eligible* for grant funding if you are: 

  • An existing not-for profit child care provider 
  • A registered not-for-profit organization interested in becoming a child care provider 
  • A Municipal government or organization wholly owned by a municipality 
  • A University or Nova Scotia Community College 
  • A Mi’kmaw/Indigenous community/organization in Nova Scotia 
  • A person who is at least 18 years of age interested in offering child care in your home 

*In cases where the applicant will not be the provider (i.e. responsible for the day-to-day provision of child care at proposed location), the applicant must partner with a not-for-profit child care provider to do so. While it is preferred that a partner be identified at the application stage, it is not required.

  Family Home Start-Up Grant Program
Access funding to provide high quality child care from your home.
 
  • Up to $7500 to help you get your home ready to care for children 

  • No application deadline

View program details

  Minor Infrastructure Program
Access funding for minor renovations to create more spaces in your existing child care facility or at a new location.
 
  • Up to $10K / space 

  • Small scale and complexity renovation projects 

  • No application deadline

View program details

  Major Infrastructure Program 
Access funding to build a new centre or make substantial renovations to an existing centre for large scale space creation* in your community.

* Rural exceptions may apply
 

  • Up to $40K / space 

  • Large-scale and complexity projects including new construction 

  • Initial application deadline: June 13th, 2024

View program details

Our team is available to support you at every step. If you have a concept for child care, but are not sure whether to apply for one of our grant programs, contact our team at ECDSInfrastructure@novascotia.ca


  Major Infrastructure Program – Funding for large scale space creation

The Major Infrastructure Program provides grant funding for the development of new not-for-profit childcare spaces in licensed and provincially funded centres. These spaces focus on children 0 to 5 years of age in communities with the highest need for childcare, prioritizing diverse and vulnerable communities. 


Approved projects are eligible for: 

  1. Leasehold/Rental Properties - A maximum of $20,000 per space up to a total project value of $1.5M 
  2. Owned/Public Properties - A maximum of $40,000 per space up to a total project value of $3.5M 


The following are eligible* to apply: 

  • Municipal governments or organizations wholly owned by a municipality 
  • Universities or the Nova Scotia Community College 
  • Mi’kmaw/Indigenous communities/organizations in Nova Scotia 
  • Registered not-for-profit organizations 

*In cases where the applicant does not want to operate a child care facility, they must partner with a not-for-profit child care provider who will be responsible for day-to-day operations. 
 

Initial applications will be accepted until June 13, 2024. 

At this stage, applicants do not need to provide all details of their proposed project but will be asked to provide the information needed to assess if the project concept meets the program requirements and will be approved to move to the next stage of development.
 

Information Calls

6 May 2024 : Early Learning and Child Care Sector (video)

8 May 2024 : Municipalities, Universities, and NFP Community Organizations (video)

Application Process

1. Submit a Project Concept

By June 13, 2024 

Applicants submit a Project Concept outlining information about their project and proposed operations. 


Applicants are encouraged to submit as much information as possible, but all details may not be known at this stage.


Applicants will be notified within 30 days of a decision. 


Applicants will be given time in Step 2 to gather detailed information required to complete an Application Package.

2. Submit a Complete Application Package

Within 60 days

Approved applicants from Step 1 are required to submit a completed Application Package within 60 days. 


Applicants enter into a Grant Agreement to receive up to 10% of estimated project costs to begin design work and obtain necessary information to complete the Application Package.

3. Assessment and Final Decision

Within 30 days

Complete Application Packages from Step 2 are assessed to ensure projects remain in scope and budget as identified in Step 1. 


Applicants will be notified of a decision within 30 days of submitting a completed Application Package. 


Approved applicants must enter into a Funding Agreement and move to the construction phase.


  Minor Infrastructure Program – Funding for minor renovations

The Minor Infrastructure Program provides grant funding for the development of new not-for-profit child care spaces by completing minor renovations to existing licensed and provincially funded childcare centres or establishing new locations. These spaces focus on children 0 to 5 years of age. 


Approved projects are eligible for: 

  • up to $250,000 (based on a maximum of $10,000 per space) towards eligible project costs; and 
  • up to an additional $25,000 (based on a maximum of 10% of the total project cost) for expenses related to project design, project management, and legal fees 


The following are eligible to apply: 

  • Municipal governments or organizations wholly owned by a municipality 
  • Universities or Nova Scotia Community College 
  • Mi’kmaw/Indigenous communities/organizations in Nova Scotia 
  • Registered not-for-profit organizations 


Applications for the program are accepted on an ongoing basis. 
 


  Family Home Start Up Program – Funding to provide high quality child care from your home

Available to newly recruited child care providers, the Family Home Child Care Start Up Program provides a one-time grant of up to $7500 to assist with the costs of creating quality early learning and child care environments in your home. 

Eligible to Apply 

Those interested in becoming a Family Home Child Care provider should contact the Family Home Child Care Agency in their area. Agencies provide support services, professional development and coaching to the provider. They provide initial and ongoing support, including administering the start up program grant.

Consider becoming a regulated child care provider


  Wrap around spaces for school aged children – Contact the Nova Scotia Before and After School Program

If you are interested in providing care for children before and after the school day, contact the Nova Scotia Before and After School Manager in the county nearest you.

NS Before-and-After Program : contact information 

Where to learn more: