Nova Scotia families deserve affordable childcare

October 21, 2014

NDP Leader Maureen MacDonald is calling on the Liberal government to develop a plan to reduce the high cost of childcare in Nova Scotia.

“Right now people are choosing not to have a second child, or are being forced out of the workforce because they can’t afford the cost of childcare,” said MacDonald. “One the thing we can do to reduce the rate of our declining population and increase participation in the labour force is ensure Nova Scotians have access to affordable childcare. The average cost for daycare right now in Nova Scotia is about $900 per month and that’s just too high.”

Susan Leblanc, from Dartmouth, says she just doesn’t know how she will cope with her childcare bill. Her family’s monthly bill for childcare will be $1600 when she returns to work after her maternity leave. Because childcare is so expensive, LeBlanc says she may need to leave the workforce for an extra year.

“If you want to keep families in Nova Scotia, you need to create the best conditions to keep us here,” said Leblanc. “If I had access to subsidized childcare, like the type offered in Quebec, I wouldn’t be faced with having to choose between caring for my child and pursuing my career.”

MacDonald says while federal support would aid in the development of a comprehensive childcare program for Nova Scotia, childcare is a provincial responsibility and the Premier needs to ensure there is a plan to provide affordable childcare for young families. 

MacDonald also says this childcare plan must address the low level of pay Early Childhood Educators currently receive.

“Right now Early Childhood Educators aren’t receiving wages that are commensurate with their skills and training and this needs to change,” MacDonald added.