Childcare regulation is always evolving to meet new rules and needs, and Nova Scotia has been no exception. Starting October 2020, new regulations have kicked in for centres in Nova Scotia via the Early Learning and Child Care Act – the successor to the Day Care Act. This long-awaited update gives childcare centers across Nova Scotia a clearer picture of what they are responsible for. Thankfully, it also gives a roadmap for how Nova Scotia centres can make their lives easier by moving more documentation to digital!
Many centres in Nova Scotia are already using HiMama to help run their centres, manage attendance and billing, communicate with families, and collect the ongoing paperwork for each day. With the new regulatory changes in Nova Scotia, centers are looking at going digital to make everything more accessible to families and continue to focus on the children, not the paperwork. Centers can look to use their provincial framework within HiMama, communicate with families, track attendance, send daily reports, and share all the special moments.
🤷 Why were these changes made?
- It’s about time! The Act had not been updated since 1989
- Allows for updated use of language and current practices used in the field
- Expansion of officials for family home child cares
- Clearer definitions and directions for licensees
📝What are the changes?
- Clearer rules around family communications plans and how to facilitate this
- Modernized language around childcare
- Aligning new requirements for home child-care and expanding legislative authority
- Establishing new staff-to-children ratios for mixed ages
- Streamlining requirements for licenses
🤿Let’s dive a little deeper into these changes and what they mean for you.
- Requirements around family communications plans and how to notify families of daily activity. Family Communication plans are now mandatory in Nova Scotia centres. These family communication plans capture the day-to-day routine of centres, and should include a daily record of attendance, date of withdrawal from the program, daily reports for infants and toddlers, and a parent handbook. The handbook will assist parents in making a decision about the care of their children and includes any communications plan required by the minister.
Side note – a great way to make family communications easy and simple for staff and families is to manage all of this via a childcare app (like HiMama!). If you’re interested in seeing how other Nova Scotia childcare centres use HiMama, we’d love to chat!
- Clearer requirements for learning and development for school-age children. Centres now have more direction on how to build out a robust development program for school-age children. This means centres should be planning developmentally appropriate periods of outdoor activity, except during extreme weather conditions.
- Ratios for classrooms have been formalized in the new regulations. Make sure you are up to date with the set ratios for your classrooms and centre, and don’t forget to check the indoor play space requirements as set out by the Ministry!
There are many other important changes within the Act, particularly around Agency relationships and responsibilities, but we wanted to highlight the most actionable ones for centre directors and owners to be aware of, and take action on.
If you need to establish a family communications plan or would like to move yours to a digital format (especially during COVID when parents are restricted from entering many centres), we’d love to help!
Centres all across Nova Scotia are already using HiMama to improve the quality of their program by going digital, freeing their staff to focus on the children and not the paperwork. Centres can look to use their provincial framework within HiMama, communicate with families, track attendance, and share all those special moments.
Book a free 15-minute consultation with HiMama today to learn more about these regulatory changes and how you can benefit. We’re SO excited to chat with you!