Pre-primary Expansion Complete

Pre-primary helps support educational, social and emotional development of children and supports their learning and growth the year before they start school.

That is why every four-year-old in the province will have access to this free, universal program in September 2020.

Premier Stephen McNeil announced today, Feb. 11, the final expansion of the program to the remaining 48 school communities.

“When we launched pre-primary, our goal was to give families of four-year-olds across our province an early learning opportunity, at no cost, the year before their child starts school,” said Premier McNeil. “That vision is about to become a reality. In September, every family with a four-year-old who wants pre-primary, will have access to pre-primary, regardless of income or where they live. Getting these young children started off on the right foot will benefit our entire province in the long term.”

Government will invest about 17.5 million this year to complete the expansion, bringing the total annual investment for pre-primary this year to $51.4 million.

In addition to universal pre-primary, the province will also roll out phase two of busing for eligible pre-primaries in September.

Families who wish to register their child can contact their Regional Centre for Education or the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.


I think the program is excellent. The early childhood educators are great, my son seems to love it. He really enjoys that he goes to the same school as his big sister every day. What I like is that he gets to see the school he’ll be attending for grade primary next year, while still enjoying curriculum that is play-based. Lester Lilly, parent of a child in pre-primary at Chebucto Heights Elementary

By the time my child was ready for grade primary, he already knew what the class bells meant, how to be independent in a crowd of peers and he settled into the school routine with ease. Pre-primary is an excellent program for getting children used to the school environment. Anna McCurdy, parent of a pre-primary graduate from Chebucto Heights Elementary

Pre-primary made a huge difference for my child because it allowed her to love school and interact with children. She has made friends along the way. She learned so much and it made the transition into primary easier for her, because she was familiar with how the school worked. Bria Skinner, parent of a pre-primary graduate from Chebucto Heights Elementary

Quick Facts:

  • full implementation will see 253 school communities receive pre-primary
  • in 2018-19, more than 4,550 four-year-olds registered for the program
  • pre-primary will employ about 880 early childhood educators

Additional Resources:

Nova Scotia Pre-primary Program:

Pre-primary Program Busing: