Nova Scotians living abroad often return home to raise their families. Nova Scotia’s affordable housing and shorter commute times means families are able to spend more time together and participate in the many fun activities offered throughout the province. Children are also lucky to be able to play outside and walk safely to schools located close to their homes.
There are various options with child care can be offered during the day or after school.
Child Care Centres
Nova Scotia child care centres are licensed facilities that operate during the day and early evening. All employees of child care centres must meet qualification requirements as outlined by the government. A list of child care centres can be found on the Nova Scotia government website.
Other-home care is given by an adult in a home other than the child’s, usually the home of the caregiver. It can be more convenient because it can be closer to the home or school of the child. Other-home caregivers do not require a license; they are hired and monitored by the parents.
Own-home care is given by an adult in the home of the child. Many parents find this the most convenient form of childcare because it does not involve travel times.
All children in Nova Scotia are legally required to attend school until age 16. Parents have the option of performing home-schooling, but they must follow specific guidelines and courses.
Public education is run by the provincial government. In Nova Scotia, most students attend public school, starting at age five with grade primary in elementary school. Nova Scotia also now offer pre-primary for four year olds. Primary is followed by grades 1 to 6. After elementary school, youth typically attend grades 7 to 9 at a junior high school, and high school for grades 10 through 12. Some junior high schools are only grade 7-8, with high school beginning in grade 9. This varies by region.
Public schools operate for about five hours a day. Times vary at different schools and at different levels. Language instruction can either be in French or English, but most schools in Nova Scotia are primarily English. French immersion is also available.
In Nova Scotia, French is taught to all students from grades 4 to 9 and is an optional credit in high school.
In all public schools in Nova Scotia, both boys and girls are taught in the same classroom. They are taught by a qualified teacher who has at least one university degree and advanced training in education.
After completing high school, students may choose to continue with post-secondary education at university, community college or through an apprenticeship. For more information visit StudyInNovaScotia.ca.
Enrolling Your Child in Public School
You can register your child at the local school they will be attending or at the regional school board office. Information is available on the Citizenship and Immigration website to determine if your child needs a study permit.
Parents may legally provide an education program for their children in the home, rather than a public school. They must follow government approved courses and programs. Visit the Nova Scotia Department of Education website for more information on home schooling.
The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) supports adult education programs from basic literacy to high school completion. It provides funding to community-based organizations, regional school boards, Nova Scotia Community College and Collège de l’Acadie. These organizations deliver programs so adults can improve their literacy skills or earn credits toward the Nova Scotia High School Graduation Diploma for Adults.