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

Child care fees in Nova Scotia will be reduced by 25 per cent this month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in a joint news conference with the provincial government Friday morning.

“For parents, this means hundreds of dollars more in your pocket each month,” Trudeau said.

According to a March 2021 report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, families in the Halifax area pay between $853 and $957 per month for child care.

The announcement Friday is the first step in further cuts to child-care costs in the coming years.

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The federal government said in its most recent budget that by the end of 2022, it aims to reduce the average fees for regulated early learning and child care by 50 per cent.

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And back in July, the provincial and federal governments pledged that child care in the province will cost an average of $10 per day in 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 child care costs.

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He said the 25 per cent reduction in child care fees is retroactive to Jan 1.

“This means parents and caregivers in Nova Scotia are already paying less,” he said, saying the average parent or caregiver will see a reduction of $200 per month for a toddler in care.

He said “procedurally,” parents will continue to pay their current rate until April 1. They will then receive a cheque or credit, he said.

“Child care costs are a barrier for so many families. For families struggling to balance the cost of child care with the need to work, paying 25 per cent less in fees will make a real difference,” Houston said.

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

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Houston also said the province is adding 1,500 new, not-for-profit child care spaces this fall.

— more to come.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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