Announced earlier this week by Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, the total federal funding allocated under the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program amounts to CAD$27.4 million (AUD$31.5 million) over three years, with projects to be completed by March 31, 2025.
$506,339 will be directed to the Carrefour francophone de Sudbury for their Action Research and Model Transfer: Forest Preschool project, which aims to provide children aged five years and under in early childhood centres with an ecology-focused learning experience.
The call for proposals focused on projects that foster cutting-edge practices to support the changing nature of early learning and child care, placing a priority on projects that address the needs of families grappling with the impacts of the pandemic.
Additional consideration was given to projects promoting cultural diversity and inclusion and to projects primarily targeting children and families with unique child care needs. This includes Indigenous families, lower-income families, families with children with varying abilities, newcomer families, single-parent families, Black and other racialized families, families from official language minority communities, families working non-standard hours and families in underserved communities. Projects that support the next generation of early learning and child care leaders, such as researchers, practitioners and service providers, were also considered.
The chosen projects were selected in the hope that they will help develop a better understanding of the changing nature of early learning and child care, including innovative tools, models and approaches that have the potential to be replicated, scaled and adapted in other communities and regions across Canada.
“Early learning and child care systems must meet the needs of increasingly complex and challenging environments,” Ms Gould said.
“Innovative practices can help develop solutions that better meet the complex needs of children and families, support an increased integration of services, and improve the quality of early learning and child care across the country.”
Learn more about the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program here.