By integrating early childhood development services and the province’s education system, New Brunswick is taking a major step toward ensuring a promising future for our children, their families and our communities.
In New Brunswick, much good work is being done to support young children and their families, but the overall systems of early childhood development and education operate independently. The lack of co-ordination has led to the overlapping and duplication of services while some children were left without support. We know we can do better.
In October 2010, the provincial government took the first step toward a unified approach by joining early childhood development and education services, creating the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. This also enabled the provincial government to expand the definition of early childhood to recognize that children in the earliest years of school are still developing. To that end, early childhood services now will focus on children from birthto age eight, which we believe will facilitate a smooth and seamless transition of services from one part of our system to the other.
By integrating the many early childhood services and the education system, we are changing the way we work on behalf of children. Integration will result in joint planning, service delivery will be measured, and the partners will be accountable to the public in how they address local needs. The evidence shows that this type of strong continuum of services and supports will provide children with greater opportunity to reach their potential for success and, ultimately, become productive participants in society.
In addition to the more integrated approach to service delivery, the provincial government, through its platform commitments, is implementing a number of initiatives that will reinforce the early learning and childcare system for New Brunswick’s families. These initiatives will further support the accessibility, affordability, quality and inclusion of the early learning and childcare system, reinforcing the continuum of learning in the province. The result is that, for the first time, New Brunswick will have a unified, cohesive approach to early childhood development. We will have the organizational framework and the supporting administration and policies to provide the level of programming and service delivery our children and families deserve.
- reprinted from document, p.4