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Provincial and Federal Governments Sign Bilateral Agreement on Early Learning and Child Care

Press Release

December 15, 2017

The Government of Canada is making significant investments in early learning and child care systems which will improve the lives of Canadian children and their families.

Today, the Honourable Dwight Ball, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador; the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defense, on behalf of the Honourable Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development; and the Honourable Dale Kirby, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development for Newfoundland and Labrador, announced a three-year bilateral agreement that reaffirms their commitment to and support of the unique early learning and child care needs of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The agreement allocates just over $22 million, over three years, to Newfoundland and Labrador for early learning and child care investments.

The funding will support the existing 10-year child care strategy which will develop and implement innovative approaches to address early learning and child care challenges through subsidies, grants, bursaries and professional learning opportunities.

The strategy can be found online at: www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/publications/childcare/caring_for_our_future.pdf.

This announcement follows an historic agreement, made on June 12, 2017, by 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.

The Newfoundland and Labrador action plan is built on two main priority areas, aligning with the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. They are:

  • Improving accessibility and affordability of child care for low and middle income families by:
    • Enhancing the Operating Grant Program;
    • Implementing changes to the Child Care Services Subsidy program; and
    • Enhancing the Child Care Capacity Initiative
  • Enhancing the quality of early learning and child care across Newfoundland and Labrador by:
    • Enhancing grants, bursaries and professional learning opportunities for early childhood educators;
    • Introducing a Capital Renovation Grant Program for Licensed Child Care Centres; and
    • Developing a Quality Improvement Program.

The framework principles include increasing the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity of early learning and child care, with consideration for families that need child care the most.

The bilateral agreement is another step to help ensure that Newfoundland and Labrador children get the best start in life and 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.

Quotes
“As a government we recognize that child care plays a vital role in the healthy development of children and the well-being of families throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. We are very pleased to partner with the Government of Canada on this important bilateral agreement that will see much-needed federal support for enhancing early learning and child care in our province.”
Honourable Dwight Ball
Premier of Newfoundland Labrador

“For many families, access to high-quality, affordable child care is not a commodity—it is a necessity. That is why the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador strongly believe investments in early learning and child care will build a high-quality, flexible, inclusive and affordable early learning and child care system.”
Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“The first years of life are essential for children’s development and future well-being. That is why I am pleased that the Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador are working together to improve the long term capacities of the early learning and child care system.”
Honourable Seamus O’Regan
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

“We are very pleased to work with our federal partners on this significant initiative. This funding will help us deliver on our mandate for increasing access to affordable, quality childcare and making a clear difference in the lives of children, families and all of those involved in early childhood education in our province.”
Honourable Dale Kirby
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development

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Learn More
Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework external link icon

Media contacts
Michelle Cannizzaro
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
[email protected]

Debbie Marnell
Education and Early Childhood Development
709-729-1906, 699-9048
[email protected]

Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
819-654-5546

For general information, please contact:
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
[email protected]

Backgrounder

Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

On June 12, 2017, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Early Learning and Child Care signed a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. This is a significant milestone in which governments agree to work together to address some of the key early learning and child care issues across the country.

Governments will work towards achieving the shared long-term vision of the framework where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care. They have committed to increase the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity of early learning and child care with consideration for families that need child care the most.

The implementation of this framework, and a separate Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework to be co-developed with Indigenous peoples, is supported by federal investments announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017, totalling $7.5 billion over 11 years. Through bilateral agreements, the Government of Canada will provide provinces and territories with $1.2 billion, over three years, that outline the unique early learning and child care needs that will be addressed and funding allocation for each jurisdiction.

The Government of Canada and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador have signed an early learning and child care bilateral agreement. Through this bilateral agreement, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador will receive just over $22 million, over three years to be used towards strengthening their early learning and child care system through innovative approaches, subsidies, grants, bursaries and professional learning opportunities.

The focus will be on the following key areas:

  • Enhancing the Operating Grant Program for child care centres and developing an operating grant component for Family Child Care to address affordability challenges in rural and remote community settings;
  • Enhancing the Child Care Capacity Initiative funding and introducing a family child care capacity component of the Child Care Capacity Initiative to address unique accessibility challenges of early learning and child care in Newfoundland and Labrador, especially in rural, and remote communities where a child care centre may not be viable;
  • Enhancing and increasing eligibility levels of the Child Care Services Subsidy program;
  • Enhancing bursaries, grants and access to professional learning for early childhood educators; and
  • Adding consultative and financial quality improvement supports to regulated child care services.
  • Introducing a Capital Renovation Grant Program for Licensed Child Care Centres.

By the end of the three-year agreement, this funding will:

  • Reduce the child care costs for low and moderate income families and support the affordability of child care for all families in Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Increase the number of families eligible for full and partial subsidies;
  • Increase the number of regulated child care services particularly in underserviced areas, with a focus on rural communities, linguistic minority communities, and Indigenous communities;
  • Enhance incentives to increase Early Childhood Education qualifications, thereby influencing the quality of the child care children receive in the province;
  • Make available a one-year Capital Renovation Grant program; and
  • Offer a Quality Enhancement Grant available to child care services participating in the Operating Grant Program to boost quality.

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