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#003 What is the cost of Childcare in Nova Scotia?
#002 Legally, in Nova Scotia, how old must a child be before s/he can be left alone, at home?
#001 Legally, how many spots may a private, for-profit, “family childcare home” open at one time, in Nova Scotia?
What is the cost of childcare in Nova Scotia?
- $36 per day for infants (0-17 mos.)
- $32 per day for toddlers (18 -35 mos.)
- $31 per day for preschoolers (36 mos. – 5 yrs.)
- $26 per day for school-aged children (5-12 yrs.), ie before and after school.
Based on 2014 data reported by Child Care Canada and Today’s Parent, full day care for preschoolers in Nova Scotia (infants and toddlers cost more) costs an average price of $601 per month ($30 per 10 hour day, at most centres.)
Some parents/guardians paid $400 per month ($20 per day) while others paid more than $1000 per month ($50 per day) for preschoolers. Data is from The Parent Trap: Child Care Fees in Canada’s Big Cities (2014) by David Macdonald and Martha Friendly and posted on the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Legally, in Nova Scotia, how old must a child be before s/he can be left alone, at home?
There is no “law” naming a specific age at which a child may be left home alone, in Nova Scotia. There is, however, some precedence.
A Nova Scotia Court ruled, at least in one case, that “leaving a 13 year old child alone overnight in the home did not amount to adequate supervision of the child because that 13 year old was not mature and not responsible enough.” LEGAL Information SOCIETY OF NOVA SCOTIA (LISNS).
The Nova Scotia Children and Family Services Act does not name an age at which a child can be left alone without legal consequence. Again from LISNS: “The Act does not say at what age a child can be left alone. Each child is different, but some questions to think about before you leave a child alone are:
- Is the child mature enough to leave alone?
- Will they be safe?
- Do they know what to do if they need help?
- How long will they be alone?”
Note that the “province can remove the child from the home if ever they believe that the child is in danger or neglected.” (Ibid.)
On a National level, the Criminal Code of Canada says a person is breaking a criminal law if they “abandon” or “put in danger” a child under the age of 10. LISNS advises never to leave a child under the age of 10 years old alone at home.
A recent survey of statutory norms and jurisprudence across Canada was documented by Mónica Ruiz-Casares & Ivana Radic. They note that age “is only one of the child factors generally considered by the courts in assessing adequate care and supervision” and report that “Canadian social services organizations advise that children under 12 years should not be left at home alone.” (Mónica Ruiz-Casares & Ivana Radic Legal Age for Leaving Children Unsupervised Across Canada (2015), Canadian Child Welfare Research Portal.)
The Nova Scotia Council on the Status of Women declare that “Children under 12 cannot be left alone” under Responsibilities (Laws in Nova Scotia).
Legally, how many spots may a private, for-profit, “family childcare home” open at one time, in Nova Scotia?
- Maximum six spots for children of any age, at one time – to include children (under the age of 13) who live in home
- Of the six spots, only two infants (up to 17 months) at a time; only three toddlers (18 months to 35 months) at a time
- If all children are 5 years of age or more, there may be up to 8 children, including children living in the home
- If caring for infants only (up to 17 months), maximum of three infants at a time, including infants living in the home.
- Nova Scotia Day Care Regulations made under Section 15 of the Day Care Act;
- Nova Scotia page of Finding Quality Childcare: A guide for parents in Canada under a Creative Commons Attribution License. This National Organization collects and reports national data and provides useful resources to parents and caregivers across the country.