Officials said the money is to help offset any additional expenses the facilities incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The government recognizes the additional financial pressures being experienced by child care facilities in providing quality early learning and child care opportunities during the pandemic,” Education Minister Dustin Duncan said Thursday in a statement.
“This investment will give certainty to those who work in the sector and provide them with the support and resources they need to continue safely caring for children.”
Two grants will be provided by the province.
The first is a one-time COVID-19 supplement grant of $600 per space to all licensed child-care centres and homes. Officials said the total cost of this is nearly $10.6 million.
The second is a one-time deficit support grant for facilities that had deficits based on financial information submitted to the Ministry of Education in February. The province estimates the total of this grant at $8.3 million.
The province said the purpose of the grants is to ensure support for facilities financially impacted by the pandemic.
Officials said it is also to help keep those facilities open, ensure they can take additional safety precautions and support child care for parents or caregivers returning to work.
Funding for the grants comes from the federal Safe Restart Agreement between the province and the federal government.
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