New Brunswick has signed a deal with Ottawa that will eventually reduce child-care costs to $10 per day.
In making the announcement on Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “by this time next year, child-care fees for families across New Brunswick will be cut in half.”
Within five years, the average price for child care in New Brunswick will be $10 a day. That will save families about $7,500 a year on average, said Trudeau, who had mistakenly said this would happen in 10 years but was later corrected.
The agreement features an investment of $544 million over the next five years — $491 million from the federal government and $53 million from the province.
Premier Blaine Higgs said that’s in addition to more than $70 million invested each year.
Higgs said the program will also create 5,700 child-care spaces within the next five years.
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Trudeau on new child-care deal with New Brunswick
“This is an historic moment for New Brunswick, one that will have considerable impact on families. We want to make sure every child can access quality learning opportunities from their earliest years,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy.
He said the goal is for child-care costs to go down for everyone, but exactly how much will depend on family income. Those who make the least will benefit the most, he said in an interview with CBC following Monday’s announcement.
He said the province will be able to provide more information about cost savings “in the next little while.”
The funding will extend to so-called “for profit” daycares, which are “largely women-run small businesses,” said Cardy.
As long as a daycare is regulated or “designated,” it will be covered by the new agreement.
Wages to increase
A news release from the province said wages of early childhood educators will increase by nearly 25 per cent under the agreement, and more training opportunities will also be created.
“We’re going to support workers in early childhood education with a wage grid, and we’ll boost the number of trained educators as well,” Higgs said.
“The bottom line is we’re going to make life more affordable. We’re going to grow the economy by allowing more parents, particularly moms, to rejoin the workforce, and we’re going to give kids the best possible start as they begin their schooling.”
Trudeau said increasing wages and improving training are “just as important” as reducing costs for parents.
He said it’s important …….