Child Care and Parental Leave

Finding Child Care

The University Children's Centre has child care for children ages four months to nine years. The Government of Nova Scotia's Child Care Information site also maintains a searchable directory of Licensed Child Care Facilities.

Nova Scotia Day Care Regulations

Parental leave

Graduate students expecting a child are eligible for an approved leave of absence pursuant to Regulation 5.8.1. In addition to an official approval through the Faculty of Graduate Studies, students should meet with their supervisor and graduate coordinator to discuss a time line for returning to their program and completing degree requirements. Students who wish to continue to opt-in to medical insurance coverage through the Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) while on leave should contact the DSU to discuss the opt-in processes. 

Funding while on parental leave

FGS funding is normally placed on hold while a student is on an unpaid leave of absence. Students who are taking parental leave are encouraged to review the terms and conditions of their awards and research grant based funding to determine if paid parental leave benefits are available (Tri-agency funding, Killam pre-doctoral scholarships). These benefits are not automatic, and require a student to apply when eligible. Paid parental leave benefits are typically issued as lump-sum amounts at the beginning of each academic term of the leave.

Students who are considering parental leave are encouraged to review the policies and terms of awards for scholarship funding and research grant-based funding they are currently receiving to determine eligibility for paid parental leave benefits.  Most Tri-agency funding sources provide paid parental leave benefits, and Killam scholars may be eligible for paid parental leave if not receiving benefits from other sources.  Students are encouraged to contact if they currently hold FGS-managed scholarships and are considering parental leave.  For parental leave benefits related to grant funding received from tri-agency sources, students must contact their supervisor and the Office of Research Services to discuss eligibility and steps to access parental leave benefits. 

Scholarship funding managed by FGS is not normally considered employment income.  If a student is currently employed at Dalhousie or off-campus, they may be eligible for other benefits and should contact their manager or the Human Resources department at their place of employment.  For more details on employment rights in Nova Scotia, please see the provincial government's Labour and Advanced Education website.  An employee may also be eligible for employment insurance benefits while on parental leave, and should review the EI maternity and parental benefit guidelines available on the Government of Canada Website