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Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Becky Druhan speaks with reporters on May 1, 2024.

Nova Scotia, feds to spend $25 million on making more child-care spaces

By Jacob Moore May 3, 2024 | 5:56 PM

The federal and provincial governments plan to spend $25 million on projects to building or renovate child-care spaces.

The new program, announced Thursday, will prioritize diverse or vulnerable communities, publicly owned buildings and communities with less child-care centres available.

“This is one of the more expensive approaches to expansion, but it’s a necessary approach to expansion,” says Becky Druhan, Minister of Early Childhood Development.

Druhan says she anticipates the program would create child care for about 650 more children.

Applications for the major infrastructure program are open and close June 13, according to a news release.

Leasehold or rental properties can receive up to $20,000 per spot opened up, up to a maximum of $1.5 million.

Properties owned by child-care centre operators or if the child-care centre is in a public building, like a university, they  can receive up to $40,000 per spot created, up to a maximum of $3.5 million.

The $25 million announced Thursday is for the major infrastructure program, which is for larger projects that may take longer to complete, she says.

On Wednesday, the provincial government announced funding for a non-profit child-care centre coming to Hammonds Plains. The operators hope it will be ready by August. That centre falls under the minor infrastructure program, which is designed to open spaces for child care quicker, says Druhan.

The government wants to open 9500 child-care spots for children by 2026, she says.

So far, Druhan says they’ve created 4500.