OTTAWA, June 12, 2017 /CNW/ - The development of Canada's early learning and child care systems is one of the best investments that governments can make to strengthen Canada's society and economy.
That is why Federal-Provincial-Territorial (F-P/T) Ministers Responsible for Early Learning and Child Care announced today an agreement on a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework to make enhancements to provincial and territorial early learning and child care systems that will improve the lives of Canadian children and their families.
This 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. Governments have committed to increase the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility, and inclusivity in early learning and child care, with consideration for families that need child care the most.
The implementation of this Framework will be supported by Government of Canada investments announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017 totaling $7.5 billion over 11 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country.
In the coming months, the federal government will work with each province and territory to enter into three-year bilateral agreements that will outline their unique early learning and child care needs to be addressed and the funding allocation for each jurisdiction. 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.
The Framework will complement the development of a separate Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework between the Government of Canada with Indigenous partners that will reflect the unique cultural needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children across Canada. Provinces and territories expressed their openness to collaborate in supporting these efforts.
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*Given the post-election procedures in British Columbia, the Province is unable to participate in the meeting.
*While the Government of Québec supports the general principles of the Early Learning and Child Care Framework, it does not adhere to the Framework as it intends to preserve its sole responsibility in this area on its territory.
"Provinces and territories are very pleased to collaborate with our federal partners on this important priority. The new funding will enable us to enhance our programs and make affordable, high quality early learning and child care more accessible to Canadian families."
– The Honourable Doug Currie, Prince Edward Island Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture
"I am very proud that we have now arrived to a successful agreement to help Canadian children and families have access to affordable, high-quality, flexible and fully-inclusive child care. Through this agreement we are giving Canadian children the best possible start in life and providing support to families who need it the most".
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- Budget 2016 and 2017 proposed to invest $7.5 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017-2018, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country, particularly for families most in need. Over the next three years, these investments could:
- increase the number of affordable child care spaces for low- and modest-income families by supporting new subsidized child care spaces; and
- make it more affordable for parents to return to work, with thousands of parents more likely to enter the labour force once child care is made more affordable.
- A portion of this investment will be dedicated to improving access to culturally appropriate early learning and child care programs for all Indigenous.
- These investments include $100 million for Indigenous early learning and child care announced in Budget 2016.
- Of this investment, $95 million will also go towards closing data gaps to better understand what child care looks like in Canada and track progress and $100 million for early learning and child care innovation.
- Only one in four children in Canada has access to regulated child care.
- Intervening early to promote child development from the prenatal period to age six can have long-term benefits that can extend throughout children's lives.
- Research shows that there are positive relationships between quality early learning and child care, parental labour market participation and child development outcomes. This is particularly true for vulnerable children.
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 Development819-654-5546; Jean Doherty, Senior Communications Officer - Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture, Tel: (902) 368-6449, Fax: (902) 368-4663, email@example.com; For general information, please contact: Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559, firstname.lastname@example.org