Early childhood education and care (ECEC) plays an important part in healthy childhood development and provides valuable support to families with young children. Canada, however, does not have a pan-Canadian approach to ECEC.
The Canadian Public Health Association calls on the Federal government to work with provinces and territories to establish a pan-Canadian early childhood education and care strategy that provides a common vision including:
• Consensus that ECEC services should focus on the delivery of stimulating learning and physical environments that support child development and are consistent across Canada, while providing particular attention to the needs of children from vulnerable groups;
• Universal access to ECEC services, with fees that are affordable for all requiring the service, and proportionate to their ability to pay.
• Targeted federal funding that would be directed to support program development, provider education, delivery and performance evaluation in place of the current system of federal tax credits to individual Canadians; and
• Increased provincial and territorial oversight and regulation of all ECEC providers.