Parents of New Brunswick preschoolers can expect to pay less for daycares by this summer.
The Government of New Brunswick says families with preschool-aged kids will see an average 50 per cent reduction in out-of-pocket fees on June 1.
It’s part of the Canada-New Brunswick Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which will invest $544 million in New Brunswick daycares over the next five years.
Dominic Cardy, New Brunswick’s minister of education and early childhood development, said in a news release the announcement marks an important step toward reducing fees so families can send their kids to preschool and develop the skills they deserve.
“By supporting our child-care sector and increasing access, affordability, quality and inclusive practices for families, we are also supporting good-quality education, small businesses and our economy,” said Cardy in the release.
The province says a standardized low-fee model will determine how much operators can charge families.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- From $37.50 to $19 per day for infants in small urban and rural areas;
- From $41.30 to $21 per day for infants in large urban areas;
- From between $32.60 and $31.30 to $16 per day for preschool-aged children in small urban and rural areas;
- From between $36.70 and $35 to $18 per day for preschool-aged children in urban areas.
Karina Gould, Canada’s families, children and social development minister, said in a news release that Ottawa’s goal is to ensure all families can access regulated early learning and child care for an average of $10 per day by the end of March 2026.
“The reduction of fees announced today in New Brunswick is a meaningful step toward achieving that goal and will make a real difference for families across the province,” said Gould in the release.
“We will continue to work with New Brunswick to help ensure that children have access to the high-quality, affordable and inclusive early learning and child care they need to succeed.”
New Brunswick’s Parent Subsidy program has also been adapted to reflect the new model.
With the subsidy, the new model could reduce a family’s yearly child-care costs by about $3,900 per child. On June 1, the province’s average daily cost of preschool care will fall to $12.82 from the current $25.21.
The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development plans to work with operators over the next four years to ensure they have appropriate resources, including support for early childhood educators’ training, recruitment and retention.
It also plans to host a series of one-on-one meetings, focus groups, working groups and surveys to build an action plan. The discussions would focus on how increasing access to and quality of preschool education would meet the needs of families.
“If we want to build a world-class education system, we need to promote continuity of learning, from birth to graduation,” said Cardy in the release.
“We want to hear from anyone in New Brunswick who is impacted by our child-care system. This includes families, child-care providers, businesses and partners across the education system.”