The governments of Canada and British Columbia are making significant investments in early learning and child-care systems to improve children’s continuous development and support them in reaching their full potential.
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson, on behalf of Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos announced an early learning and child-care bilateral agreement with Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development for British Columbia, and Katrina Chen, Minister of State for Child Care.
The agreement allocates $153 million, over three years, to:
- Create 1,370 new infant/toddler child-care spaces through capital grants;
- Provide operational funding to care providers to administer low-cost infant/toddler spaces and reduce parent fees for at least 1,786 children;
- Apply new streams of bursaries and grants to recruit and retain early childhood educators, and support up to 4,000 current and future educators in obtaining or upgrading their Early Childhood Educator certification;
- Direct new funds into the existing systems to expand culturally based Indigenous child care, which will create on- and off-reserve programming, 390 new spaces, and benefit approximately 590 families; and
- Enhance inclusive programs for approximately 7,278 children with special needs.
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.
Taking care of children today will grow and strengthen 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, totaling $7.5 billion over 11 years, and is another step to helping ensure that British Columbia’s children get the best start in life.
The framework also complements the three-year, more than $1-billion investment the Province is making in child care under Budget 2018, as part of its commitment to implementing a universal child-care system that provides access to affordable, quality child care for any B.C. family who wants or needs it.