For families in Canada, access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care is not a luxury—it is a necessity. That is why the Government of Canada signed agreements with each province and territory to implement a Canada-wide early learning and child care system that will support an average of $10-a-day regulated child care across Canada.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Education, John Haggie, celebrated the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
As part of the agreement with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Canada is providing more than $306 million over five years to help improve regulated early learning and child care for children under 6 years of age in the province. Through these investments, the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador 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 Newfoundland and Labrador families have access to regulated child care for an average of $10 a day by March 31, 2026.
Newfoundland and Labrador reduced their parent fees from $39 a day in 2019 to $25 a day in 2021, and through the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Canada-wide agreement introduced a further reduction to $15 a day in 2022. With this milestone reduction, the province is exceeding the shared goal to reduce 2019 parent fees by an average of 50% by the end of 2022. This is one of the milestones to achieving an average of $10-a-day early learning and child care in the province in 2023, two years ahead of schedule.
The province is also supporting critical services, including new infant, toddler and preschool spaces and a pilot of a new full-day, year-round pre-kindergarten program for 4-year-old children in 2022–2023, with the goal that every child in the province has access to pre-kindergarten by 2025–2026, no matter where they live. The pre-kindergarten program will be regulated and operated as a not-for-profit service. In addition, the agreement will grow a strong and skilled workforce of early childhood educators, including through the creation of a wage grid and greater opportunities for professional development.
The governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador have created an implementation committee that will monitor progress on early learning and child care commitments in consultation with stakeholders. The Government of Canada is represented on this committee by the Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care.
In addition, Newfoundland and Labrador is supporting:
- a child care system that is inclusive of children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports, and that ensures that all families have equitable access to high-quality, affordable child care;
- collaborative work with Indigenous governing bodies and organizations to ensure that Indigenous children will have access to affordable, high-quality and culturally appropriate early learning and child care; and
- enhanced data collection and reporting.
Building a child care system that works for all 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 Newfoundland and Labrador, 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.Quotes
“Newfoundland and Labrador has already made tremendous progress in supporting families and children with reduced child care fees and the pre-kindergarten pilot program. I look forward to continuing to work with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to make high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care a reality in the province.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
“Having established our province as a leader in affordable child care, we continue to take actions to remain on the forefront of affordable child care in this country. From the introduction of $25 per day child care to $15 per day in 2022, to being one of the first provinces to sign the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with the federal government, we continue to provide more accessible, affordable and inclusive child care for families in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
– Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Education, John Haggie
- Newfoundland and Labrador signed its Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement on July 28, 2021.
- Average fees for regulated early learning and child care spaces were $39 a day in Newfoundland and Labrador in 2019. By the end of 2022, families in the province could save up to an estimated average of $5,090 a year per child thanks to the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, and an average of approximately $7,560 a year per child once fees reach $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, Budget 2022 proposes to provide $625 million over four years, beginning in 2023–2024, 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 child care system, wage grids and/or additional training 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 2017–2018 to 2019–2020 Early Learning and Child Care Agreements. These new regulated 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.