NDP

NDP Invests $6 Million in Child Care

October 27, 2009


More families will have access to affordable, quality child-care thanks to a provincial investment worth $6-million.

Today, Oct. 27, Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse announced the funding, which will help child-care centres expand their facilities, creating an additional 300 child-care spaces across the province.

“This is an investment in our children,” Ms. Peterson-Rafuse said. “Supporting children in their early years will result in stronger families and a province full of opportunities. Successful children build a successful province.”

Ms. Peterson-Rafuse presented Spryfield’s Edward Jost Children’s Centre with more than $1.5 million. The funding will help the centre build a second building, doubling capacity and allowing it to accommodate infants.

“To say we appreciate this support is an understatement — it just wouldn’t be possible without this funding,” said Kathleen Couture, director of the Edward Jost Children’s Centre. “We are so excited. Spryfield is a fast-growing community and our new building will help us better meet the needs of families in our community.”

Subsidies may be available for qualified families to take advantage of the 300 additional child-care spaces.

“This is in line with our commitment to make child-care more accessible for more families,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse.

Eleven other child-care centres across the province also received expansion-loan funding. A complete list is available at www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/elccprogram.html.

The loans are available to full- and part-day licensed commercial or non-profit child-care centres, and family home day-care agencies. The funding can be used to replace existing facilities or to help with the costs of adding more child-care spaces.

Non-profit child-care centres are eligible for a 75 per cent forgivable loan, with the remaining 25 per cent provided through an equity contribution or a low-interest repayable loan from the Department of Community Services. Commercial centres are eligible for a 25 per cent forgivable loan, with the remaining 75 per cent provided through an equity contribution, third-party funding, or a low-interest repayable loan from the department.

Funding for the expansion loans is provided through Nova Scotia’s 10-year Early Learning and Child Care Plan. The plan originally committed to create 1,000 child-care spaces. Today’s announcement brings the total to 1,350.

More information on the Early Learning and Child Care Plan is available at www.gov.ns.ca/coms/families/elccprogram.html .