The province announced today that it will be launching a pilot program to test the waters of before and after school care for pre-primary children.
The program will take place at ten locations across the province, two of which will be in the HRM. The program will focus on outdoor play and physical activity, said Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Zach Churchill.
The pilot program will run from January to June of next year. The information gathered from the pilot will help inform the best way to move forward in providing similar programs in more locations across the province.
Currently, there are around 3,000 individuals in the pre-primary care system. Churchill says they are working hard to get 100 per cent coverage, but that the care programs available now can create an access barrier due to fees and locations.
The before and after programs are separate from the provincial pre-primary programs. They will be fee-based and delivered by approved child care or recreation providers. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Education will also be extended a subsidy to those children who come from low-income families.
"We're working with our partners to create a seamless day for pre-primary children in a quality, accessible and affordable program that focuses on the physical health and well-being of children," said Churchill in a press release.
There will be 230 kids involved in the pilot, said Churchill. As well as working with pre-existing childcare and recreation programs, the government will also be working closely with the McCain Foundation and Mount Saint Vincent University to gather its information.