GATINEAU, QC /CNW/ – Access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care will grow the economy, allow more women to enter the workforce and give children in Canada the best start in life. That’s why the Government of Canada signed agreements with each province and territory to implement a Canada-wide early learning and child care system.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, and Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Natalie Jameson, celebrated the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Canada–Prince Edward Island Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
As part of the agreement with the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Canada is providing over $117 million over five years to help improve regulated early learning and child care for children under six years of age in the province. Through these investments, the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are working together to improve access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services, with the goal of ensuring that Prince Edward Island families have access to licensed early learning and child care for an average of $10 a day by the end of 2024.
Through the Canada–Prince Edward Island Canada-wide agreement and its investments, the Province has reduced child care fees to $25 a day as of January 1, 2022, representing a meaningful step in reaching an average reduction in fees of 50% by the end of 2022. This is one of the milestones toward achieving an average of $10 a day for early learning and child care within Prince Edward Island’s designated Early Years Centres and Family Home Centres by the end of 2024, two years ahead of schedule.
To increase the supply of early learning and child care spaces, the Province will create 452 new licensed child care spaces by the end of fiscal year 2022–23 to ensure more families can access child care. The Province will create these new child care spaces predominantly in publicly managed early years centres, as well as in family home child care.
The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are creating an implementation committee that will monitor progress on early learning and child care commitments in consultation with partners and stakeholders. The first meeting for the Canada–Prince Edward Island implementation committee will be held in late August.
In addition, Prince Edward Island is supporting:
- a strong and skilled workforce of early childhood educators, including initiatives to attract and retain highly skilled early childhood educators and to support opportunities for training and development;
- an early learning and child care system that is inclusive of children with exceptional needs and children needing enhanced or individual supports, Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, as well as newcomers to Canada and official language minority communities;
- the development of innovative flexible child care for families that work non-standard hours; and
- the implementation of a data collection system to support future planning and reporting.
Building an early learning and child care system that works for families in every region of the country is a key part of the plan to make life more affordable for families while creating good jobs and growing the economy. Nearly all of Canada’s provinces and territories, including Prince Edward Island, have already seen reductions in child care fees. By the end of 2022, average fees for regulated early learning and child care spaces will be cut in half across the country.
“Prince Edward Island has already made important progress in reducing child care fees and providing more training opportunities for the early childhood workforce. I look forward to working with the Government of Prince Edward Island to build on this progress, and make high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care a reality in the province.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
“We are proud of our investments in the workforce, the expansion of early learning and child care spaces and initial reductions of parent fees. We look forward to continuing to work with our federal partners to strengthen Prince Edward Island’s early learning and child care system.”
– Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, Natalie Jameson
- Prince Edward Island signed its Canada-wide early learning and child care agreement on July 27, 2021.
- With an average reduction in fees of 50% by the end of 2022, families in Prince Edward Island could save up to an estimated average of $3,390 annually per child thanks to the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and an average of approximately $4,170 a year per child once fees reach an average of $10 a day.
- In response to requests from provinces and territories, and to support the implementation of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, Federal Budget 2022 proposes to provide $625 million over four years, beginning in 2023–24, for an Early Learning and Child Care Infrastructure Fund. This funding will enable provinces and territories to make additional child care investments, including the building of new facilities.
- Recognizing that early childhood educators are at the heart of a high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care system, wage grids and/or additional educational supports for early childhood educators are part of all Canada-wide agreements with provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec, which has an asymmetrical agreement.
- As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with the provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including investments in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.
- In total, the Government of Canada is aiming to create approximately 250,000 new child care spaces through Canada-wide agreements with provinces and territories, and has already achieved its goal of creating 40,000 more affordable child care spaces before 2020 through the 2017–18 to 2019–20 early learning and child care agreements. These new licensed spaces will be created predominantly among not-for-profit, public and family-based child care providers.
- Investments in child care will benefit everyone across Canada. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.
Toward $10-a-Day: Early Learning and Child Care
$10-a-day child care for families in Prince Edward Island
Canada–Prince Edward Island Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement – 2021 to 2026
Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care
SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada
Rod Washington: Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He also produces news and documentary video projects. Check out his podcast StoriesThisMoment at https://m3e.d71.myftpupload.com/stm-tncn-podcasts/