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With child care in the spotlight courtesy of the federal election campaign, CUPE Nova Scotia has released the province’s most comprehensive child care report in four years.

The CUPE report compares Nova Scotia to other provinces, providing data on wages, staffing levels, federal funding, and provincial spending.

The 2001 Nova Scotia Child Care Funding Review was the last major report done on the sector. It identified wages as the most pressing issue facing child care in the province.

Here are some of CUPE’s findings:

  • Nova Scotia parents paid 73 per cent of regulated child care costs. Only one province had higher user fees.

  • In 2003-04, there were only enough child care spaces to accommodate 14.8 per cent of children whose mothers were in the workforce.

  • Only about a quarter of the nearly $37 million in new funding received from the federal government between 2001-2004 has gone to improving salaries.

  • At $149, the Nova Scotia government’s expenditure per child for regulated care was the fifth lowest in Canada and a mere 30 per cent of the national average expenditure of $500 per child.

  • Subsidy rates and cutoff points for subsidies are among the lowest in Canada, meaning low-income parents in Nova Scotia pay more for child care than those in other parts of Canada.