Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia budget promises pay bump for early childhood educators

In Tuesday’s budget, the province committed to increase childcare spending by $6.6 million, some of which is earmarked to subsidize more childcare spaces.

Budget pledges additional $6.6 million for child care, but province won't yet detail worker raises

The province said it will spend $6.6 million more on child care, splitting the money between subsidized child-care spaces, inclusive programming and a wage increase for early childhood educators. (Montessori World daycare)

The Nova Scotia government confirmed in its budget it will give early childhood educators a raise, but how much won't be known for another week or two.

In Tuesday's budget, the province committed to increase childcare spending by $6.6 million, some of which is earmarked to subsidize more child-care spaces.

Government officials declined to give specific details on how the new spending could affect wages, saying Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey will be making another announcement soon. 

Nova Scotia's early childhood educators are currently paid an average of $12.84 per hour, the lowest rate in the country.

The province is also spending an additional $3.6 million to expand a program to prepare preschoolers with autism for school. The province says the funding could help up to 56 more children in the province.

Money for education

The public education system is going to get a $21-million increase in funding from the province.

The spending will be split between various programs, including $6.4 million to reduce class sizes in elementary grades. More than $6 million will go towards beefing up math and language instruction.

Other initiatives include $1 million to bring more computer coding education to classrooms, as well as $1.2 million to add four SchoolsPlus sites. These sites bring together various government services, such as social work, health, justice and mental health services, under one roof to support students.

Post-secondary students 

The province says it will spend an additional $3.7 million on scholarships for students who want to pursue graduate-level studies. The province says the program will help 310 students over the next year.

Funding for the Graduate to Opportunity program will double to $3.2 million.

The Liberals are also doubling funding to a program that subsidizes the salaries of recent graduates hired by small businesses.

The province plans to spend $3.2 million to create an additional 229 placements.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Richard Woodbury is a journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team. He can be reached at richard.woodbury@cbc.ca.

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