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Pilot project offers health care workers daycare for irregular hours

By Steve MacArthur Oct 6, 2023 | 2:40 PM

A new pilot project will offer health care workers in Cape Breton childcare services to better meet their irregular hours and long shifts.

The province is partnering with a child-care centre in Sydney to provide evening, weekend and overnight child-care options to healthcare workers at Cape Breton Regional Hospital.

The demonstration project at Health Park Early Learning Centre, located near the hospital, will launch this fall once appropriate policies, procedures and staff are in place. It will be evaluated after six months.

“We know that finding child care outside of regular operating hours is a challenge for many healthcare workers,” said Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development. “By offering extended hours and overnight care at a facility that they already know and trust, we are giving families one less thing to think about when they’re providing critical care to Nova Scotians.”

When the demonstration project launches, Health Park Early Learning Centre will be able to offer 12 spaces for overnight care and run at full capacity (66 spaces) on weekends and for extended hours on weekdays.

The centre is working with interested families to identify participants with a focus on children four years of age and younger.

“Delivering healthcare isn’t a nine-to-five job. The toll that shift work can take on workers and their families, especially children, can be hard. This is a great opportunity for us to explore a new and innovative way to help those who care for our friends and family in their time of need.” said Michelle Thompson, Minister of Health and Wellness.