News release

Changes to Child-Care Subsidy Program

Education and Early Childhood Development
child care
Photo of early childhood educator reading to children

An early childhood educator reads to children. The Province is making it easier for families to qualify its child-care subsidy program. (Communications Nova Scotia / File)

The Province is making it easier for families to apply and qualify for Nova Scotia’s child-care subsidy program.

To help more families afford child care while balancing other financial priorities, eligibility criteria now hinge solely on family income and no longer consider assets like savings. Households with an annual income of $70,000 or less remain eligible and will now also be able to save for things like a down payment on a home while benefiting from the subsidy.

“These changes – like so many actions within our child-care transformation – make child care accessible to more families,” said Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “Families will now benefit from more straightforward eligibility criteria and be able to apply faster, confident they can balance affording child care with other financial goals.”

The program is also transitioning from a paper form to an online application, which will reduce the administrative burden and decrease turnaround time for processing.

The Nova Scotia child-care subsidy program pays a portion of eligible families’ child-care expenses for children aged 12 and younger. The annual budget for the program is $25.8 million.

The application and more information about eligibility requirements are available at:


“These changes will be of great benefit to families. A significant portion of subsidy applicants are of a generation that prefers to work online, rather than in paper. Moving to an online form is more favourable for them generally and will help them submit applications quicker. Removal of the asset requirement will be helpful for families to create a better future for themselves, allowing them to save, while also accessing the subsidy.”
Trina Fraser, Executive Director, East Preston Day Care Centre

Quick Facts:

  • the subsidy program changes are effective immediately
  • the program currently supports more than 4,000 families (5,000 children)
  • the subsidy is on top of the 50 per cent, on average, fee reduction for all families through the Canada-Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, meaning more than 3,000 families in receipt of the subsidy access child care for free

Additional Resources:

Nova Scotia’s 2023-26 child-care action plan:

Nova Scotia’s child-care transformation:

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