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Moving forward on early learning and child care: Agreement-in-principle between the government of Canada and the government of British Columbia

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Government of Canada & Government of British Columbia
government document
Publication Date: 
29 Sep 2005

Excerpts from the agreement:

The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia have developed this Agreement to articulate their shared vision for early learning and child care and to describe specific objectives and investments to achieve this vision.

British Columbia has agreed to adopt the principles negotiated by the federal, provincial and territorial governments to guide new federal investments: Quality, Universally Inclusive, Accessible and Developmental. In addition, the Government of British Columbia has adopted three British Columbia specific principles:

- Choice/Flexibility &em; Parents choose a service that works best for them, including care outside of traditional work hours.

- Targeted Investments &em; Targeting investments to low income families and families with children with special needs promotes better access for more parents to quality, inclusive care.

- Integrated Services &em; Child care is available in schools and is integrated with other community services like early childhood development programs.

The province's goals for early learning and child care are:

- More British Columbia families will have access to quality child care options in their communities;
- More children will enter school better prepared to succeed;
- More children with special needs will be included in quality community-based settings;
- More children will be cared for by qualified child care workers in regulated child care settings;
- More employment and business opportunities will be created for child care professionals, particularly women, and in Aboriginal and multicultural communities.

The federal budget announced that the Government of Canada is committing $5 billion nationally over the next five years for investment in child care and early learning for children under 6. This agreement and the associated funding will assist the province in achieving these goals.

British Columbia will be committing all additional federal money for regulated early learning and child care to the fulfillment of the five -year plan. This further investment will complement existing federal and provincial investments and will support the expansion of regulated early learning and child care in both private and non-profit settings as a key element in developing a supportive social fabric for children and families in British Columbia.

This initiative builds on early learning and child care investments made in British Columbia by the Governments of British Columbia and Canada and recognizes that flexibility is needed to address provincial priorities and circumstances.