Excerpted from press release
FREDERICTON (GNB) – A federal-provincial funding agreement signed today aims to provide New Brunswick families with $10 per day child care, on average, by 2026. The agreement features an investment of $544 million over the next five years.
“Today we are signing an agreement that works for New Brunswick’s families and early childhood sector,” said Premier Blaine Higgs. “We are helping families find more affordable, quality, inclusive child care, but we are also able to help support small businesses and build on successful programs that have increased the quality of learning in facilities.”
The federal government is providing $491 million while the provincial government is contributing $53 million. This is in addition to the more than $70 million invested annually in the province’s early learning and child-care sector.
“All families should have access to affordable child care,” said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “That is why we are making $10 a day child care a reality across the country. Today’s agreement with New Brunswick is an important step forward to delivering on our Canada-wide early learning and child care system, which will create jobs, grow the middle class, and give our kids the best start in life.”
The agreement builds on the New Brunswick Early Learning Centre and New Brunswick Early Learning Home designation program, with the goal of increasing access to child care across the province. Parent fees are expected to decrease, on average, by 50 per cent in the coming year. This means that, on average, a family could pay about $14 per day, depending on their household income, which could reduce annual child-care expenditures by up to $3,000.
Over the course of the agreement, 5,700 additional spaces will be made available within the designation program.
“This is an historic moment for New Brunswick, one that will have considerable impact on families. We want to make sure every child can access quality learning opportunities from their earliest years,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “These investments will build on New Brunswick’s successful model of child care and make improvements toward a more robust early learning system for the province’s youngest learners right from the start, including supporting the recruitment and retention of trained educators.”
Wages of early childhood educators will increase by nearly 25 per cent over the course of this agreement. More professional learning opportunities will be developed and implemented, as well.
Plans will be developed to provide more inclusive and flexible early learning and child care to vulnerable children, children with disabilities, and children from diverse populations.
The agreement also includes a clear commitment to work collaboratively with First Nations organizations and communities to better understand their needs and establish a plan for early learning and child-care services for Indigenous children.
Beginning in the new year, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will engage parents and other stakeholders to build on the agreement’s framework and guide key initiatives. These consultations will continue over the next five years to ensure successful implementation of the agreement.