The government of Nova Scotia is introducing a new benefits and pension package for roughly 3,000 early childhood educators and support staff.

All employees will be enrolled in the Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology’s DBplus pension plan. The province will fund employers to provide pension contributions retroactive to Jan. 1, 2024.

The province will also provide these employees with a comprehensive group benefits plan, including access to an employee assistance program. In addition, ECEs working in provincially licensed and funded childcare centres and family home agencies will receive hourly wage increases ranging from $3.14 to $4.24, starting on April 1, 2024.

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Employers will start phasing benefits and wage increases as of Jan. 1, beginning with the EAP and followed by enrolment in the group benefits and pension plan in May 2024, with full enrolment expected by the end of 2024. For family home providers, the government will provide a grant so they can source their own benefits and contribute to a group registered retirement savings plan.

“ECEs and support staff do incredible, valuable work and we know a strong, stable early learning and childcare system means providing programs and benefits that support staff working in the sector,” said Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, in a press release. “We heard from the sector that balancing affordability while implementing a health benefits and retirement plan is crucial. We heard, we listened and now we are delivering.”

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