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Public Engagement

Nova Scotia is undergoing a historic transformation of early learning and child care.

Phase One – Public Engagement

On October 25, we concluded a province-wide tour, engaging parents and primary caregivers about their early learning and child care needs.

Phase Two – Sector Engagement

The next step in the process is to gather input from the sector. 

We’d like to hear from Early Childhood Educators working in licensed child care settings (Centres, Family Home Agencies, and individual family homes) and before and after school programs. We’d also like to hear from those administering licensed child care programs, and before and after school programs (Directors, Assistant Directors and other leaders). 

We will host four virtual workshops, each focusing on one of the following topics: affordability, access, inclusion, and quality

Refer to the table below for workshop descriptions. 

In each workshop, we will: 

  • Provide updates on progress and plans. 
  • Share what we heard from families and community members during phase one. 
  • Listen to ideas on ways we can continue to build a brighter future for children and families. 

Details: 

Workshops will take place the weeks of March 18th and March 25th on MicrosoftTeams Feedback received throughout the entire consultation process will inform future plans. We will also share feedback in a public report, which will be made available in 2024. 

Questions about the engagement can be directed to: elccengagement@novascotia.ca 

Workshop Descriptions and Registration: 

Please register for the workshop(s) of interest to you. We will host break-out discussions on the sub-topics listed below. You will be asked to indicate sub-topics of interest upon registering.

Topic

Date & Time

Sub Topics for Discussion

Registration Link

AffordabilityTuesday March 19th 6:00 – 8:00pm

Affordability for families 

With the rising cost of living, many families require further affordability supports for early learning and child care. What should we consider as we continue to make child care more affordable for families? 

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Affordable

Cost of Care for Providers 

As we embark on developing a new publicly funded cost model, what do you want us to know about the cost of providing early learning and child care?

Register

AccessThursday March 21st 6:00 – 8:00pm

Space Availability  

The demand for child care spaces exceeds availability. As we work to create new spaces, we want to hear from you; what should be considered as we expand non-profit spaces?

Flexible Scheduling

The desire for more flexible care is a common theme for families, particularly those in healthcare and seasonal industries. What should be considered as we explore flexible scheduling options?

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Available

Waitlist Practices 

Long waitlists and inconsistent waitlist management practices can significantly impact parents. What should be considered when it comes to managing access to spaces?

Barriers to Family Home Child Care

Licensed Family Home Care plays a vital role in the early learning and child care landscape. What should be considered as we continue to grow the Family Home Child Care sector?  

Register

QualityTuesday March 26th 
6:00 – 8:00pm

Workforce Supports

Families support the continued professionalization of the sector, emphasizing the need for a well-compensated, qualified, and stable workforce. What should be considered as we continue to stabilize and strengthen the workforce?

Quality Programming

Families are seeking a more consistent child care experience across the province, regardless of where they live, especially when it comes to operational policies and practices. What should be considered as we continue to develop guidance and program standards? What are opportunities for standardization, and where should flexibility be considered?

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Quality

Training for Quality 

Families desire a well-trained and qualified workforce that is equipped to deliver high quality early learning and child care. What should be considered as we continue to strengthen and develop quality ECE training programs?

Navigating the System

Families are seeking clearer information about options, available spaces, and support services. What should be considered as we improve communications for families?

Register

InclusionThursday March 28th 
6:00 – 8:00pm

Disability Supports

Parents of children with disabilities and complex needs stressed the need for inclusive care that facilitates full participation for all children. What should we consider as we continue to improve supports for children with disabilities?

Cultural Diversity and Equity

Families have expressed the need for more culturally responsive programming and representation in the sector. What should be considered as we continue our work in this area?

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Inclusive

Training and Professional Learning for Inclusion

Families feel that the sector should be better supported to care for children with disabilities. What should be considered as we continue to improve training specific to inclusion? (note: in this discussion, we will do a deep dive on staff training, whereas the Disability Supports breakout will focus on broader supports)

Communication and Awareness

Families emphasized that open, consistent, and personalized communication is key to a positive early learning experience. This is especially crucial when a child has complex needs. What should be considered as we consider ways to enhance family / parent communication?

Register

Additional Resources

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