HALIFAX - With the issue of child care hitting the front pages courtesy of the federal election campaign, the most comprehensive research report done on child care in Nova Scotia in the last four years was released Dec. 15.
The report comes from the Canadian Union of Public Employees, Canada’s largest child care union and a leading source of research on public policy issues. Data on wages, staffing levels, funding from the federal government and how the province has spent that money is examined and brought up to date in the report.
The Nova Scotia Child Care Funding Review, conducted in 2001, was the last major report done on the sector in this province. It identified wages as the most pressing issue facing child care.
Here are just some of the CUPE report’s findings:
- Nova Scotia parents paid 73% of regulated child care costs in Nova Scotia. Only one province had higher user fees.
- In 2003-04 there were only enough child care spaces in Nova Scotia to accommodate 14.8% of children 0-12 years of age whose mothers were in the work force.
- Only about one quarter of the nearly $37 million in new funding received from the federal government between 2001-2004 has gone into improved salaries
- At $149, the Nova Scotia government’s expenditure per child 0-12 for regulated care was the fifth lowest in Canada and a mere 30% of the national average expenditure of $500 per child;
- Both subsidy rates and cutoff points for subsides are among the lowest in Canada, meaning the low income parents in Nova Scotia pay more for child care than those in other parts of Canada.
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