Governments sign a bilateral agreement
WINNIPEG, Feb. 23, 2018 /CNW/ - The governments of Canada and Manitoba are making significant investments in early learning and child care systems to foster children's social, cognitive and emotional development and give them a real chance to succeed in life. Today, Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Families for Manitoba, announced a bilateral agreement that focuses on the increased quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity of early learning and child care, with consideration for families more in need of child care services.
The agreement, which allocates close to $47 million over three years and aims to create an estimated 1,400 new and newly subsidized early learning and child care spaces in Manitoba, supports investments in:
- creating affordable child care spaces through enhanced capital funding and operating subsidies to support lower-income, French language and newcomer families as well as underserved communities;
- building sector capacity through education, training and skill development;
- developing a rural and Northern strategy to improve access to high-quality and affordable child care services;
- developing a new service and funding approach to support inclusive, active and meaningful participation of children with varying abilities and providing grants to community service organizations offering supportive family services to hire early childhood educators; and
- undertaking community engagement to successfully implement bilateral initiatives and support public reporting.
This announcement follows a historic agreement, made on June 12, 2017, by the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Early Learning and Child Care on a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. The Framework sets the foundation for governments to work towards a shared long-term vision where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care.
By taking care of our children today, we are growing and strengthening the middle class for years to come. The bilateral agreement is supported by long-term Government of Canada investments in early learning and child care announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017, totalling $7.5 billion over 11 years. This is another step to help ensure that Manitoban children get the best start in life.
"The experiences of parents across Canada are vast and varied, but one thing we can all agree on, is that it is important for our children to access high quality child care. That is why the Government of Canada is working hard with provinces and territories to ensure the unique needs of early learning and child care are met everywhere. I am thrilled that the Government of Manitoba and Government of Canada have announced today's agreement that will have an important impact on Manitoban families and children."
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"This bilateral agreement will help to deliver better child care for families across the province and is a big step forward in our collective efforts to ensure that the children of Manitoba get the best start in life."
– Dan Vandal, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface—Saint Vital
"We are pleased to collaborate with the Government of Canada on our commitment to high-quality, affordable licensed child care that focuses on key areas to better respond to the unique needs of our province. The investment will focus on new and newly funded, affordable and accessible spaces, building capacity of child care facilities, strengthening the workforce and improving child care services in rural and northern Manitoba."
– The Honourable Scott Fielding, Minister of Families for Manitoba
- Federal Budgets 2016 and 2017 proposed to invest $7.5 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017–18, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country, particularly for families more in need. Of this investment:
- $95 million will go towards closing data gaps to better understand child care challenges and needs and track progress;
- $100 million will go towards early learning and child care innovation; and
- a portion will be dedicated to strengthening culturally appropriate early learning and child care for Indigenous children.
- The federal government is working with each province and territory to enter into three-year bilateral agreements that will address the early learning and child care needs unique to its jurisdiction and funding allocation. Bilateral agreements with seven other provinces and territories have been announced: New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Yukon.
- Through the bilateral agreements, the Government of Canada will provide provinces and territories with $1.2 billion, over the next three years, for early learning and child care programs. Governments will report annually on progress made in relation to the Framework and bilateral agreements.
- A separate Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework is being co-developed with Indigenous partners to reflect the unique cultures and needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and families.
- Over the three-year bilateral agreement, the Manitoba action plan, aligned with the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, aims to:
- create an estimated 1,400 new and newly subsidized early learning and child care spaces for children under the age of six;
- deliver core professional development training to up to 100 facilitators, providers and facilities;
- certify up to 20 new rural/Northern educators;
- pilot a new family group child care model to serve children and families from smaller and diverse communities;
- pilot a service and funding approach focused on coordinating services to better meet the complex, life-long support needs of an estimated 700 children with disabilities in early learning and child care facilities; and
- provide up to eight grants to community organizations offering supportive family services to enable them to hire an early childhood educator to provide quality programming for children moving through a significant transition with their family.
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P., Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, 819-654-5546; Andrea Slobodian, Press Secretary, Executive Council, Government of Manitoba, 204-945-1495, 204-807-0857, [email protected]; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, [email protected]