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Information for Families

We are committed to building a child care system that is affordable, inclusive, and accessible through the Canada-Wide Child Care Agreement.

To learn more about the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and its associated Action Plan, click here.

We’re creating more child care spaces across the Province

We are working hard to increase access to early learning and child care spaces for more children and families across the Province. Our long term vision is that all children and families have access to high-quality, affordable early learning and child care.

We’re steadily working to create new licensed early learning and child care spaces across Nova Scotia. We’re creating a mix of infant, toddler, preschool spaces and before and after school spaces.

By the end of 2026, we plan to have created a total of 9,500 new spaces. Visit this page regularly for updates on our progress.

Nova Scotia Early Learning and Child Care Space Creation Summary

Under the Nova Scotia-Canada Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, Nova Scotia has committed to creating 9,500 new early learning and child care spaces in licensed centres, licensed family homes, and the NS Before-and-After Program, by March 31, 2026.

The below table summarizes spaces that have opened, by program type, since July 13, 2021.

 Spaces Opened
Program Type2021-2023(1)2023-2024
July 13, 2021 -
March 31, 2023
Q1
Apr 1 - Jun 30
Q2
Jul 1 - Sep 30
Q3
Oct 1 - Dec 31
Q4
Jan 1 - Mar 31
Licensed child care centres377310302108200
Licensed family homes546100150108198
NS Before-and-After Program (NSBAP)7680804288264
Total 16914101256504662
Cumulative Total16912101335738614523

Notes:
(1) 2021 to 2023 covers the time period from July 13, 2021 (when Nova Scotia signed the Canada-Nova Scotia Wide Agreement) to March 31, 2023.

Nova Scotia Early Learning and Child Care Space Closure Summary

Spaces fluctuate when third-party operators make decisions about their child care centres (e.g. selling the business, retiring, or reducing their licensed capacity).

The below table summarizes spaces that have closed, by program type, since July 13, 2021.

 Spaces Closed (represented as a negative value)
Program Type2021-2023(1)2023-2024
July 13, 2021 -
March 31, 2023
Q1
Apr 1 - Jun 30
Q2
Jul 1 - Sep 30
Q3
Oct 1 - Dec 31
Q4
Jan 1 - Mar 31
Licensed child care centres-413-38-2000
Licensed family homes-433-7-78-42-72
NS Before-and-After Program (NSBAP)00000
Total -846-45-98-42-72
Cumulative Total-846-891-989-1031-1103

Notes:
(1) 2021 to 2023 covers the time period from July 13, 2021 (when Nova Scotia signed the Canada-Nova Scotia Wide Agreement) to March 31, 2023.

Expansion Project Updates

Licensed Early Learning and Child Care Centres

Operator

Community (County)

Description

Spaces (range)

Anticipated Opening*

Bayers Westwood Day Care CentreHalifax (Halifax)Renovation

1-10

TBD 2024

Centre de la Petite Enfance de la Rive-SudCookville (Lunenburg)Renovation

17

Open

Cumberland YMCA Early Learning Centrexford (Cumberland)New Location

18

Open

Cumberland YMCA Early Learning CentrePugwash (Cumberland)New Location41-50TBD 2024 - Partial Opening Summer
Cunard Street Children's CentrePeninsula (Halifax)Renovation

10

Open

Dartmouth Day Care CentreDartmouth East (Halifax)Renovation

31-40

January 2024

Dr. Jane Norman Child Study CentreTruro (Colchester)Renovation

12

Open

Dr. Jane Norman Child Study Centre – Douglas StreetTruro (Colchester)New Location

35

Open

Dr. Jane Norman Child Study Centre – Infant CentreTruro (Colchester)New Location

10

Open

East Preston Day Care CentreEast Preston (Halifax)Renovation

38

Open

East Preston Day Care Centre – 1016 Main StreetEast Preston (Halifax)New Location

51-60

May 2024

Edward Jost Children's CentreSpryfield (Halifax)New Location

90

Open

Edward Jost Children's Centre AnnexSpryfield (Halifax)Renovation

10

Open

First Lake Early Learning Centre SocietyLower Sackville (Halifax)Renovation

1-10

Open

La P'tite Academie SocieteChurch Point (Digby)Renovation

18

Open

Le Jardin des PetitsTusket (Yarmouth)Renovation

10

Open

Le Jardin des PetitsWedgeport (Yarmouth)New Location

21-30

2024

Learning Grove Child Care CentreDigby (Digby)New Location

1-10

Spring 2024 - Project Under Review

Little People's Place of Shelburne AssociationSt. Andrews, Shelburne (Shelburne)Renovation

4

Open

Little People's Place of Shelburne AssociationKing St., Shelburne (Shelburne)New Location

32

Open

Lower Onslow Playschool AssociationLower Onslow (Colchester)Renovation

16

Open

Lower Sackville Nursey SchoolLower Sackville (Halifax)Renovation

24

Open

Maritime Muslim AcademyAntigonish (Antigonish)New Location

21-30

TBD 2024

Maritime Muslim AcademyClayton Park (Halifax)New Location

104

Open

Maritime Muslim AcademyWolfville (Kings)New Location

21-30

TBD 2024

Maritime Muslim Academy PreschoolPeninsula (Halifax)Renovation

21

Open

Munro Academy Early Learning CentreSydney Mines (Cape Breton)Renovation

51-60

Summer 2024

Needham Early Learning CentreNorthend Halifax (Halifax)Renovation

10

Open

Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood EducatorsClayton Park (Halifax)New Location

86

Winter 2024-2025

Nova Scotia College of Early Childhood EducatorsPort Hawkesbury (Inverness)New Location

44

Open

Papillons & PissenlitsPubnico (Yarmouth)Renovation

2

Open

Playschool Day Care CentreNew Waterford (Cape Breton)Renovation

21-30

TBD 2024

Queens Day Care AssociationLiverpool (Queens)Renovation

61-70

Spring 2024

Taigh Cùraim Day Care SocietyIngonish (Victoria)New Location

21-30

Spring 2024

Taigh Cùraim Day Care SocietyBaddeck (Victoria)Renovation

21-30

Spring 2024

Taigh Cùraim Day Care SocietyBay St. Lawrence (Victoria)New Location

11-20

Spring 2024

The Fox & The Hare DaycareLockeport (Shelburne)Renovation

1-10

TBD 2024

Through the Years Day Care & Community CentreHubbards (Lunenburg)Renovation

16

Open

Town Daycare CentreGlace Bay (Cape Breton)Renovation

11-20

Fall 2024

Whitney Pier Day Care CentreSydney (Cape Breton)Renovation

21-30

Summer 2024

Windsor Day Care CentreWindsor (Hants)Renovation

24

Open

Windsor Day Care CentreWindsor (Hants)New Location

30

Open

Windsor Nursey SchoolWindsor (Hants)Renovation

20

Open

YMCA Early Learning & Childcare CentreGuysboroughNew Location

21-30

Open

YMCA HalifaxFall River (Halifax)New Location

85

Open

YMCA of Cape BretonSydney (Cape Breton)Renovation

11-20

Open

YMCA of Cape Breton – the Cove Long Term Care HomeSydney (Cape Breton)New Location

41-50

2024

YMCA of PictouPictou (Pictou)New Location

41-50

2024

YMCA of Southwest Nova ScotiaBridgewater (Lunenburg)Renovation

1-10

TBD 2024

YWCA Early Learning & Childcare CentreTatamagouche (Colchester)New Location

21-30

TBD 2024

*Anticipated timeframes are subject to change based on typical construction risks and delays.

Finding Care

Finding Care in a Licensed Early Learning and Child Care Centre

Visit the Directory of Licensed Child Care Facilities to search for licensed child care facilities in your community.

Finding Family Home Child Care

Family Home Child Care (FHCC) Agencies can help families find care in a regulated, home-like environment. FHCC Agencies support individual child care providers who operate early learning and care programs from their own homes.

To learn more about the family home child care options available in your community, contact your nearest FHCC Agency.

CountyName of Licensed FHCC AgencyContact Information
Inverness, Victoria, Cape Breton, RichmondCape Breton Family Place Family Home Child Care Agencyjlatulippe-rochon@familyplace.ca   
902-562-5616   
https://familyplace.ca/
Pictou, Antigonish, Guysborough, East HRMFamily Home Child Care Societymelissa.j.m@eastlink.ca    
902-928-2211   
http://www.familyhomechildcare.com/
Colchester, CumberlandJane Norman College Family Home Child Care Agencyleanne.joudrie@janenorman.ca    
902-897-5111   
https://www.janenorman.ca/
Halifax Regional MunicipalityChebucto Family Centre Home Child Care Agencyjane@chebuctofamilycentre.ca    
902-479-3031   
http://chebuctofamilycentre.ca/
Annapolis, LunenburgFamily Matters Family Home Child Care Agencyfhdcfamilymatters@gmail.com    
902-584-2100   
https://family-matters.ca/
Kings, West HantsKings County Family Resource Centre Home Child Care Agencyfamily.centre@kcfrc.ca    
902-678-5760   
https://kcfrc.ca/
Halifax Regional MunicipalitySackville Family Day Caresfdca@live.com    
902-864-6363   
https://www.facebook.com/memorylanefamilyplace/
Halifax Regional MunicipalityYWCA Family Home Child Care Agencym.walsh@ywcahalifax.com    
902 423-6162   
https://ymcahfx.ca/
Halifax Regional MunicipalityFox Hollow Family Home Child Care Agencyleannethomey@outlook.com    
902-826-2709   
https://foxhollowfamily.ca/family-agency-contact
Halifax Regional MunicipalityGiant Steps Family Home Child Care Agencygsfamilyhome@gmail.com    
902-820-3236   
https://www.giantstepschildrenscentre.ca/contact
Shelburne, Digby, YarmouthLil Jems Family Home Child Care Agencyliljemsfhca@gmail.com    
902-740-0789   
https://liljemschildcare.ca/
Shelburne, Digby, YarmouthHome Away From Home Family Home Child Care Agencyhafhfdca@eastlink.ca    
902-745-3663   
https://www.facebook.com/homeawayfromhomefamilydaycareagency/
East HantsEast Hants Family Home Child Care Agencyeasthantsagency@gmail.com 
902-805-6296
DigbyLa Garderie Familiale de Clarelagarderie@bellaliant.com    
902-645-2673

Before and After School Care

The Nova Scotia Before and After Program is available to families of children ages 4 to 12, who are enrolled in the Nova Scotia Pre-primary Program or the public education system. The program is delivered on-site at school, so children have a seamless day.  To learn more about program locations, visit: https://www.ednet.ns.ca/bap/locations 

To learn about the EXCEL Program (available in Halifax Regional Centres of Education Schools), visit: https://www.hrce.ca/families/families/excel 

How it works: 50 per cent fee reduction

Effective December 31, 2022, families received an additional 25 per cent child care fee reduction (on average). Families are now paying an average of 50% less for child care than they were in 2021. Scroll down to learn more.

This change will help parents and guardians with infants, toddlers and preschoolers across the province. Fees will be moving to $10 a day, on average, by 2026. As part of the Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, our province is starting a five-year journey to build a system of child care that is affordable, inclusive, and accessible. Our vision is child care that cares for everyone – children, families, operators, and early childhood educators.

Fee reductions are applied directly to child care bills. The daily fee reduction amounts are:

 Jan 1, 2022 Average Fee Reduction ($)Dec 31, 2022 Average Fee Reduction ($)Total Average 50% Fee Reductions ($)
Licensed Child Care Centres
Infant-10.50-12.50-23.00
Toddler- 9.00-9.25-18.25
Preschool: Full Day- 8.75-9.50-18.25
Preschool: Part Day ?- 3.75-0.75-4.50
School Age: Full Day- 6.75-3.25-10.00
School Age: Before and After?- 5.00-1.00?-6.00
School Age: After Only- 4.00-0.50-4.50
School Age: Before Only- 3.000.00-3.00
Family Home Child Care
Infant- 8.50-8.50-17.00
Toddler- 8.25-8.25-16.50
Preschool: Full Day- 8.25-8.25-16.50
School Age: Full Day- 8.25-8.25-16.50
School Age: Before and After- 5.00-1.00-6.00
School Age: After Only- 4.000.00-4.00
School Age: Before Only- 3.000.00-3.00
Nova Scotia Before and After Programs
School Age: Before and After- 4.250.00-4.25
School Age: After Only- 3.250.00-3.25
School Age: Before Only- 1.500.00-1.50

Fee Reduction Table (PDF)

Eligibility

Licensed centres that sign their amended annual funding agreement, which reflects the principles of the Canada-wide agreement, will be provided with full funding to offset the additional fee reduction. Regulated family home child care programs will be provided with full funding to offset the additional fee reduction.

Child Care Subsidy

Families that receive support from the Province's Child Care Subsidy Program will continue to receive subsidy coverage in addition to the fee reduction. Please reach out to your caseworker or child care centre if you have any concerns.

Parent choice

As a parent, you will always have choice in who provides care for your child. As we advance our work under the Canada-Wide Agreement, parents will continue to have choice. If you would like help in finding a space that can provide you with the fee reduction, please reach out: ECDServices@NovaScotia.ca

Frequently Asked Questions

This is an important milestone as part of our commitment to a publicly funded childcare system. We know that for many families, childcare is their single biggest monthly expense, and we are working toward achieving a $10 per day childcare, on average, for families by 2026.

Families will see the savings applied directly to their childcare bill. There is nothing for you to do to receive this reduction.

Families with infants and toddlers and pre-schoolers in licensed, funded childcare centres qualify.

In 2019, on average, a family with an infant in a licensed childcare centre paid $42 per day. Childcare is often families’ single biggest monthly expense. Ten dollars per day childcare is part of our commitment to a publicly funded childcare system to ensure all families have access to high quality, inclusive, and affordable opportunities.

Many families with school-aged children are paying, on average, $9–11 per day for before and after school care. We are working to make this the norm for all families with young children.

Please visit: Nova Scotia Before and After Program - Locations for a list of actively operating locations, and for more information about the Excel Program.

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