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  • Kyle Bolt

Parent Subsidy Expanded to Newcomers, Policy Launched to Create Child-Care Spaces

Changes to the Parent Subsidy, effective Nov. 1, aim to ensure that newcomers to the province, such as internationally recruited workers and Ukrainian families, can access high-quality, affordable child-care services.

“Making sure that all New Brunswick families can access quality, affordable early learning and child-care supports our economy and the success of our children,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Bill Hogan. “By expanding our Parent Subsidy to include more families, we are promoting the long-term growth of our population and encouraging greater workforce participation of hundreds of internationally trained nurses and newcomers.”

Changes to regulations under the Early Childhood Services Act remove permanent residency as an eligibility requirement for the subsidy. This change supports New Brunswick’s obligations to increase the accessibility and affordability of child care under the Canada-New Brunswick Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and encourages more women to participate in the workforce.

“Every child deserves the best start in life,” said federal Families, Children and Social Development Minister Karina Gould. “Today’s announcement will provide relief for more families in New Brunswick and allow increased participation in the labour force.”

The federal-provincial agreement builds on the New Brunswick Early Learning Centre and New Brunswick Early Learning Home designation program.

In addition, a new policy will take effect Nov. 1 to create child-care spaces and better meet the needs of families. Policy 901 – Space Allocation for Designated Early Learning and Child Care Facilities promotes the responsible growth and allocation of designated spaces for preschool-aged children by:

-Prioritizing not-for-profit facilities, including homes.

-Evaluating the needs of communities based on population and/or economic growth.

-Receiving project proposals that ensure greater access for diverse populations and reflect New Brunswick’s official languages status.

This policy was informed by provincewide engagement sessions held during the spring and summer and an analysis of child-care gaps around the province. Families were asked about their needs and the obstacles they faced in accessing child care. These conversations also provided insight on the challenges of operators.

The federal-provincial funding agreement invests $544 million over five years, aiming to provide New Brunswick families with $10 per day child care, on average, by 2026 and to create an additional 3,400 early learning and child-care spaces for children aged five and under by the end of March 2026. The federal government is providing nearly $492 million while the provincial government is contributing $53 million. This is in addition to the more than $70 million invested annually in the province’s early learning and child-care sector.

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