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🗞 Nova Scotia has a child care problem

47% of young children live in child care deserts.

Good morning!

I hope you were all able to stay indoors and out of the snow and cold this weekend. Last week we asked what your prognosis was for the year ahead. I’m happy to report the majority of you are heading in with a positive mindset:

Do you think 2024 will be a good year?

🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩🟩 I'm optimistic! (43%)

🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️⬜️ A good year? Not in this economy. (24%)

🟨🟨🟨🟨⬜️⬜️ It's too early to tell. (28%)

⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️⬜️ Other (tell us in the comments). (5%)

Fingers crossed that optimism prevails in 2024! Have a great week.

– Alyssa

🌡️ Traffic & Weather

Today: 🌤 -3°

Tomorrow: ☀️ -2°

Next Day: 🌨

🚗 Driving today? Check out the current traffic conditions and ongoing road closures.

EDUCATION

Across Nova Scotia, nearly 1 in 2 kids live in “child care deserts.” How is the province fixing that?

📸 Map: David MacDonald on Tableau. Graphics: Lauren Phillips.

 In May 2023, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives released a report on “child care deserts” across Canada—places where the demand for child care versus what’s available is just one space for three or more children. Based on 2021 census data, Nova Scotia had 47% of kids under 4 living in child care deserts. In the HRM, that number is 35%. 

As the province continues to roll out its five-year Nova Scotia Canada-Wide Early Learning Child Care Agreement, it has committed to increase the province’s coverage to 59% by March 2026. 

The Coast spoke with Kenya Thompson, co-ordinator of Child Care Now | NS, which advocates for publicly-funded, comprehensive and universally accessible non-profit child care, about holding the province accountable to its commitments—and whether these commitments go far enough.  

🤔 Need to know

🛻 Almost 20,000 pickup trucks—2021 to 2023 model Ford F-150s—in Canada have been recalled for faulty rear axle bolts. Find more info here. 

🚑 In an attempt to free up ambulances and reduce wait time for emergency calls, the province is training 200 personnel for a new emergency medical responder role. Read the official release. 

📝 Pete’s Frootique workers, who have been on strike since November, have approved an initial collective agreement with Sobeys.

📷 Great photography captures the humanity of its subjects like nothing else. The incredible new exhibition Crossing Lines, about migrants and borders, opens Wednesday.*

*Sponsored Post

🗞️ In Other News

🥌 The schedule for the World Women’s Curling Championship, happening in Sydney in March, has been released. 

😷 With a mix of Influenza, RSV and COVID circling, emergency room wait times in Nova Scotia are through the roof and medical staff are overwhelmed. 

🐶 A new doggy daycare in Dartmouth, Woofingtons of LakeCity, aims to help people living with mental illness.

🏫 The Black Loyalist Heritage Centre has recreated an exhibit of the Old Birchtown Schoolhouse that is believed to be the first integrated school in Nova Scotia.

🚨 Four people, including one youth, have been charged in relation to the Rocky Lake Junior High assault that happened in October. 

👮 A Halifax Regional Police officer has been charged with assault for an April 29 incident involving a female the officer knew. 

🏒 The Professional Women’s Hockey League recently kicked off its inaugural season; could the Maritimes eventually have its very own team?

SPONSORED BY SUPPORT4CULTURE

Support4Culture is a proud supporter of arts, culture, and heritage in Nova Scotia

Supporting individuals and their art helps to share the voices and unique talents of NS communities. From Sydney to Yarmouth, Support4Culture continues to showcase NS artists, their work, and their voice. Learn More.

🗓️ Things To Do

Looking for something to do this week? Check out these Coast picks:

🗓 Free Movie Screening: Grab your friends and family and catch a free screening of Barbie at the Woodlawn Public Library | Jan.10 | 6:30pm | Free

🗓️ Public Skate: Looking for a way to get out on the ice this week? The Zatzman Sportsplex hosts free public skates (no reservation needed) every Wednesday until March 31 | Jan. 10 | 4pm-4:50pm | Free

🗓 Kevin Drew: Toronto-born musician Kevin Drew of Broken Social Scene will be in town for an intimate solo show at St. Andrew’s United Church | Jan. 14 | 8pm | $44.45-$49.57

🗓 Open Waters Festival: This annual music festival celebrating the creativity of different sounds is in full swing. Catch one of the 20 events happening across 5 venues | Until Jan. 14

Find more Halifax events in The Coast listings

🍴 Where To Eat & Drink

Grand opening: ZenQ has officially opened in Scotia Square. Stop by for a $2 coffee and cookie. 

Food & Funding: The Bake Sale for Gaza at Ramblers that was supposed to take place this past weekend was postponed to tomorrow, January 9, from 4 to 6pm.

🛍️ Shop Talk

Second-hand finds: Finer Things Antiques & Curios is having a 20% off in-store sale for the next few weeks. 

Book lovers unite: Buy Back Book Day is coming up on January 13 & 14 at Agricola Street Books. Round up 15 of your books that are in excellent quality, and earn back up to $60. 

Winter sale: Sattva Boutique on Agricola is having a winter sale with items up to 50% off both in-store and online. 

Finding a new home: The Halifax Mobile Food Market has found a more permanent home in Dartmouth’s St. Anthony’s Church.

👀 In Case You Missed It

• When HRM council resumes resumes for the year at tomorrow’s first meeting of 2024, Halifax’s councillors will be confronted once again with a thorny problem: How to dig the region out of a $68.7 million deficit. 

• It’s January but PEI tulips are blooming!

Meet the Halifax couple who kayaked 400 kms from the city’s north end to Cape Breton.

That’s it!

Thanks for reading The Coast Daily today ❤️ 

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