Childcare in Nova Scotia

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  • These are licensed centres that offer childcare for young children, some from 6 wks old but mainly from 12 months old to 4 years old.
  • Also some centres will offer school age programs.
  • Ratio is:
    • one adult to every 8 children under 2 years of age
    • one adult to every 12 children from 3 to 5 yrs old
    • one adult to every 15 children of school age
  • The price you can expect to pay is usually from $25.00 to $30.00 a day.
  • Most centres in the Halifax area will have long waiting lists, whereas centres on the outskirts of Halifax do not have as long a waiting list.


  • These are licensed centre’s that offer morning and in some cases, afternoon sessions.
  • Some will offer a structured program in ways of getting children ready for school -- circle time, writing skills, learning numbers and the alphabet.
  • Some pre-schools may offer full day programs; children are required to have a rest period if they stay all day.
  • Ratio is one adult to 12 children.
  • Again some centres will offer an after-school program.
  • Prices are usually from $12.00 to $15.00 a half day session.


  • Theses mainly take place in recreation centres or church halls, and can also take place in private houses.
  • These are for parents to go along with their children and let them play and socialise.
  • It’s a socialize for the parents also to meet and chat with other parents.
  • These can be run by mothers who hold a childcare certificate.

In-Home Daycares & Pre-schools

  • Many carers offer this service in their own home.
  • Carers should have a childcare qualification.
  • If they have over 6 children they need to be licensed, and they will be inspected by community services.
  • Again prices are usually $25.00 to $30.00 a day.
  • They will offer various programs.

After-school Care

  • All licensed centres -- such as daycares, pre-schools, and private home childcare (licensed if over 6 children) -- may offer school age programs.
  • These are for children from 5 years up to 12 years old.
  • The carer will go to the school bus stop, collect the children and walk them back to the centre, or they may live on the bus route so the bus stops outside the centre/house.
  • Some centres may have their own centre transport.
  • For an afternoon session prices may start from $12.00 to $15.00 an afternoon.
  • The centre may also offer before school service.
  • This is good for any parents who need to get to work early.


  • This is care inside school, before, lunch and after-school.
  • Excel usually have a long waiting list, so you need to book early.
  • Registration is the beginning of April, payment is to be paid when booking in April.
  • They run from 1.30 pm until 6 pm every school day.
  • They do NOT open when it is a storm day, PD day (personal development day), Christmas break, spring break, and summer holidays.
  • You would need to find alternative childcare at these times if needed.

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