Nova Scotia, federal government, cut child care costs by 25 per cent this month

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at a joint press conference with the provincial government Friday morning that childcare fees in Nova Scotia will be reduced by 25 percent this month.

“For parents, that means hundreds of extra dollars in your pocket every month,” Trudeau said.

According to a March 2021 report by the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, families in the Halifax area pay between $853 and $957 per month for childcare.

Friday’s announcement is the first step in further reductions in childcare costs in the coming years.

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The federal government said in its latest budget that by the end of 2022, it aims to cut average fees for structured early learning and childcare by 50 percent.

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Back in July, provincial and federal governments pledged that child care in the province would cost an average of $10 a day within five years — a deal also struck between the federal government and most other provinces and territories.

During Friday’s briefing, Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston said the province is “ahead of schedule” in terms of reducing childcare costs.

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He said the 25 percent reduction in childcare fees is retroactive to January 1.

“This means that parents and caregivers in Nova Scotia are already paying less,” he said, noting that the average parent or caregiver would see a $200 per month reduction for a young child in foster care.

“Procedurally speaking,” he said, parents will continue to pay their current wages through April 1. They will then receive a check or credit, he said.

Childcare costs are a barrier for many families. For families struggling to balance the cost of child care with the need to work, paying the 25 percent lower fee will make a real difference,” Houston said.

“Making child care affordable helps tackle child poverty. It supports women and supports families.”

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Houston also said the county is adding 1,500 new non-profit childcare places this fall.

– More is coming.

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