Remarks by the Deputy Prime Minister on building more $10-a-day child care spaces in Nova Scotia

May 14, 2024 – Nova Scotia


It is great to be in Bridgewater today. I’m glad to be here with my colleague, Minister Jenna Sudds, and with Minister Becky Druhan. And I am so glad to be here with the Lunenburg County YMCA Childcare Centre. You guys do an amazing job.

Our budget is about ensuring fairness for every generation—especially younger Canadians. That’s why an important part of our plan is about helping young parents across Canada by improving access to affordable, high-quality early learning and child care.

Child care is expensive. Without government help, monthly fees can easily add up to a second rent or mortgage payment.

Young people—and let’s be honest, especially young women—often have to choose between having a family and having a career. It’s not fair. Our government is changing that.

And that’s why, three years ago, we launched our national system of early learning and child care from coast to coast to coast.

And I am so thrilled to be right here in Bridgewater, where this system is working.

Today, child care fees are down by at least 50 per cent across Canada. This year, families in Nova Scotia are saving up to $6,000—per child. 

Early learning and child care is feminist social policy, and we are proud of that. It is also feminist economic policy.

Our affordable system of early learning and child care has already enabled a near record-high labour force participation rate of 85.5 per cent for working age Canadian women. And that is driving jobs and growth in communities across the country.

This is incredible progress. But we need to do more. If you talk to young parents across Canada, they will tell you how hard it is to find a space for their kid.  

That’s why I’m very glad to announce that our government is investing $19.8 million to help reach our goal of 9,500 $10-a-day child care spaces here in Nova Scotia by March 2026.

And as we’ve already heard, and thanks to a great partnership with the Government of Nova Scotia, we are well on our way.

This funding comes through our $625 million Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund, which supports provinces and territories to invest in infrastructure that will make child care more accessible in underserved communities—including rural and remote communities, and high-cost or low-income neighbourhoods here in Nova Scotia.

Today’s announcement builds on measures we introduced in our 2024 budget, including expanding student loan forgiveness for early childhood educators in rural and remote communities.

The education of educators is such an important investment.

One of the things I really loved about the room that we walked through was that many educators have a little page up introducing themselves so that families can get to know the people who are caring for their children. I thought that was wonderful. And in her introduction, one of the educators paid tribute to her own family, to her husband and to her kids, for supporting her as she got the education she needed to do her important work.

So expanding student loan forgiveness for early learning and childhood educators in rural and remote communities is about helping more educators like that know that they can afford to get the education they need to do their important jobs.

It’s a program that’s already in place now for doctors and nurse practitioners because I think we all know how urgently we need doctors and nurse practitioners in our rural and remote communities.

By extending the student loan forgiveness program to early learning and child care educators, we’re offering direct financial support but we’re also offering recognition.

What we’re saying is: your work is essential too, and we know it.  

We are creating more child care spaces in Nova Scotia and across Canada to help provide what we urgently need as a country: more places in great daycare centres like the one here at the Lunenburg County YMCA.

I’m going to conclude by sharing some great economic news:

Last week, we learned that Canada added 90,000 new jobs in April. That means today, 1.3 million more Canadians are working compared to before the pandemic.

The OECD expects the Canadian economy to see the second fastest rate of growth among the G7 this year and the fastest growth in 2025, tied with the U.S.

And last month, Moody’s, one of the leading credit ratings agencies, re-affirmed Canada’s triple-A credit rating with a stable outlook.

Moody’s also predicts that, over the medium term, Canada will see stronger economic growth than some other triple-A economies and that inflation will be near the Bank of Canada’s midpoint target of two per cent.

These are very powerful economic proof points. They show that Canada’s economy is strong and resilient. They show that our economic plan is fiscally responsible. And that really matters, because it means we can afford to make the investments Canada needs—investments in things like a national system of early learning and child care and a national school food program—that will create the good jobs Canadians need. It means the federal government can responsibly invest and borrow at lower costs, as can other orders of government and Canadian businesses. 

Our government is acting now—and acting with purpose—with a fiscally responsible economic plan. Because younger Canadians are counting on it.

Thank you very much.

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