News release

Province Ensures Family-Centred Child-Care Policies, Helps Operators Manage Costs

Education and Early Childhood Development
Photo of a child at a child-care centre

The Province is banning wait-list and registration fees for provincially licensed and funded early learning and child-care programs. (Communications Nova Scotia)

Nova Scotia families will no longer be faced with wait-list or registration fees to attend provincially licensed and funded early learning and child-care programs.

Under 2024-25 child-care operator funding agreements, the Department is banning wait-list and registration fees, which conflict with the government’s commitment to family-centred practices.

“We are transforming Nova Scotia’s child-care system and part of that transformation is ensuring we build family-centred practices,” said Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “In the fall, I promised to end the practice of wait-list fees as part of our commitment to inclusive, accessible and affordable child care for families. I am very happy to say these extra fees will no longer be something parents have to worry about.”

The updated agreements will also include a one-time grant to offset rising operating costs for provincially licensed and funded child-care providers and for those delivering the Nova Scotia Before and After Program. These grants represent a total investment of $9.7 million.

The new operator funding agreements, funded in part by the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, will take effect on April 1 and also include:

  • additional funding to reflect minimum wage increases for entry-level, non-ECE (early childhood educator) staff
  • increased funding for ECE wage increases, and for group benefits and a defined benefits pension plan for all staff working in provincially licensed and funded child care, announced in December 2023
  • a requirement for operators to have property insurance.


“I want to commend Nova Scotia for its incredible work on improving access to high-quality regulated child care in the province by supporting its early learning and child-care workforce and regulated child-care providers, and by making wait-list and registration fees a thing of the past for parents. I look forward to our continued collaboration with Nova Scotia so every family in the province, and across Canada, has access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care.”
Jenna Sudds, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Quick Facts:

  • ECEs working in provincially licensed and funded child-care centres and family home agencies will receive hourly wage increases of between $3.14 and $4.24 starting April 1; child-care employers will start to enroll in group benefits and pension plans in May
  • since 2022, parents in Nova Scotia have paid an average of 50 per cent less for child care, with work underway to achieve an average cost of $10 per day by March 31, 2026, as part of the Canada–Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement
  • more than 3,800 child-care spaces have been created across the province since 2021
  • Nova Scotia increased its investment in early learning and child care by $83 million, for a total investment of $277 million, in 2023
  • the Government of Canada is contributing $605 million over five years in addition to more than $69 million through the Canada–Nova Scotia Early Learning Child Care Extension Agreement – 2021 to 2025

Additional Resources:

More information on early learning and child care, including benefits and wages, is available at:

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Other than cropping, CNS photos are not to be altered in any way.