Canada – British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement - 2021 to 2025
Official title: Canada – British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement
On this page
- List of abbreviations
- Canada – British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement
- 1.0 Vision for early learning and child care
- 2.0 Early learning and child care objectives and areas of investment
- 3.0 Period of agreement
- 4.0 Financial provisions
- 5.0 Accountability
- 6.0 Long-term collaboration
- 7.0 Communications
- 8.0 Dispute resolution
- 9.0 Equality of treatment
- 10.0 Amendments to the agreement
- 11.0 Termination
- 12.0 Notice
- 13.0 General
- Annex 1: Multilateral early learning and child care framework
- Annex 2: British Columbia’s action plan for fiscal year 2021 to 2022
- Annex 3: Early childhood workforce funding for fiscal year 2021 to 2022
- Schedule 1: Action plan for early childhood workforce funding for fiscal year 2021 to 2022
List of abbreviations
- Affordable Child Care Benefit
- Advanced Education and Skills Training
- Aboriginal Head Start
- Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC
- Aboriginal Supported Child Development
- British Columbia
- Child Care Operating Funding
- Department of Employment and Social Development Act
- Deaf and hard of hearing
- Early childhood educators
- Early Childhood Educators of BC
- Early care and learning
- Early learning and child care
- Early years professional development
- First Nations Health Authority
- Infant toddler educators
- Post-secondary institutions
- Supported Child Development
- Special needs educators
- Work-Integrated Learning
Canada – British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement
- Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada (hereinafter referred to as “Canada” or “Government of Canada”) as represented by the Minister of Employment and Social Development (“Canada”) and as represented by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development (herein referred to as “the Federal Minister”) and
- Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the province of British Columbia (hereinafter referred to as “ British Columbia” or “Government of British Columbia”) as represented by the Minister of Children and Family Development (herein referred to as “the Provincial Minister”)
Referred to collectively as the “Parties”.
Whereas, Canada and British Columbia agreed to the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework on June 12, 2017 which articulates their shared vision for early learning and child care (ELCC) and describes their approach to achieve this vision.
Whereas, Canada and British Columbia have committed to work together to further develop child care, in full respect of their responsibilities to their residents, and recognizing that the Government of British Columbia has responsibility for the design and delivery of early learning and child care programs and services in British Columbia.
Whereas, the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESDA) authorizes the Federal Minister to enter into agreements with the provinces and territories, for the purpose of facilitating the formulation, coordination and implementation of any program or policy within the mandate of DESDA.
Whereas, the Child Care BC Act authorizes the Provincial Minister to enter into agreements with the Government of Canada respecting financial arrangements or other matters relating to the Child Care BC Act and the Child Care Subsidy Act authorizes the Provincial Minister to enter into agreements with the Government of Canada respecting financial arrangements or other matters relating to child care subsidies.
Whereas, Canada has, pursuant to its Policy on Transfer Payments, established a transfer payment program to provide funds to the provincial and territorial governments for the development and delivery of regulated early learning and child care programs and services for children under 6 years of age, with consideration for families more in need.
Whereas, Canada and the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council jointly released the co-developed Indigenous ELCC Framework in September 2018, which establishes overarching principles and sets a vision for happy and safe Indigenous children and families, strong cultural identity, and a comprehensive and coordinated system that is anchored in self-determination, and centered on children and grounded in culture, and can be used as a guide for all actors involved in Indigenous ELCC.
Whereas, early learning and child care investments made by British Columbia may also support Indigenous children and families that reside within British Columbia.
Whereas, the Canada-British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement was signed on February 23, 2018 and extended by 1 year on September 18, 2020.
Whereas, in accordance with section 3.0 of the Agreement signed in 2020, Canada and British Columbia wish to extend the Agreement for a period of 4 years commencing April 1st, 2021 and ending March 31, 2025, on the same terms and conditions as in the Agreement, save and except for amendments as provided herein.
Whereas, intentions to extend the Agreement were stated in writing and negotiations had commenced prior to the expiry of the fiscal year 2020 to 2021 Agreement.
Whereas, Canada and British Columbia will work together towards establishing a Canada-wide child care system.
Now therefore, Canada and British Columbia agree as follows.
1.0 Vision for early learning and child care
1.1 Canada and British Columbia agree that the long term vision, principles and objectives for early learning and child care, which are set out in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework that is attached as Annex 1, will guide the investment of funds provided under this Agreement.
2.0 Early learning and child care objectives and areas of investment
2.1.1 Canada and British Columbia agree that over the period of this Agreement, with financial support from Canada, British Columbia will further build its early learning and child care system by addressing local, regional and system priorities that have an impact on families more in need by increasing the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in early learning and child care, towards achieving the objectives of:
- enhancing the accessibility of child care options by increasing the number of spaces
- increasing affordability of child care, beginning with Infant/Toddler care
- enhancing the quality of licensed child care programs by supporting the training and professional development of early childhood educators
- enhancing equity through targeted investment in underserved communities – Indigenous families, families with children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports, and lone-parent families – improving access to inclusive, affordable, and flexible child care programs.
British Columbia’s approach to achieving these objectives is set out in their Action Plan attached as Annex 2.
2.1.2 Canada and British Columbia agree that for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 only, Canada will provide a one-time contribution to British Columbia, that will be used to support the recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce, in accordance with section 3 of Annex 3.
2.2 Eligible areas of investment
2.2.1 British Columbia agrees to prioritize funds provided by Canada under this Agreement in regulated early learning and child care programs and services for children under the age of 6 where:
- regulated programs and services are defined as those that meet standards that are established and/or monitored by provincial/territorial governments
- early learning and child care programs and services are defined as those supporting direct care and early learning for children in settings including, but not limited to, regulated child care centres, regulated family child care homes, early learning centres, preschools and nursery schools
2.2.2 In developing and delivering its early learning and child care programs and services, British Columbia agrees to take into account the needs of French-speaking communities.
2.2.3 Acceptable investments under this agreement may include, but are not limited to: capital and operating funding for regulated early learning and child care, fee subsidies, training, professional development and support for people who work in the early learning and child care field, quality assurance, parent information and referral, and administration costs incurred by British Columbia in implementing and administering this Agreement.
2.2.4 British Columbia also agrees to develop, promote, define, and deliver identifiable innovative approaches to enhance the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility, and inclusivity of early learning and child care systems, with consideration for those more in need.
2.2.5 Canada and British Columbia agree that funding will be targeted toward regulated programs and activities, as described above, for children under the age of 6, that will have an impact on families more in need such as lower-income families, Indigenous families, lone-parent families, families in underserved communities; those families with caregivers who work non-standard hours; racialized families including Black families; and children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports. Needs include having limited or no access to early learning and child care programs and services in the children’s official language.
2.2.6 In fiscal year 2021 to 2022, given the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19, British Columbia may allocate funding under this Agreement to support short-term measures to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on British Columbia’s ELCC system. These measures must be aligned with the principles of the Multilateral ELCC Framework (Annex 1) and be used to sustain ELCC programs and services.
3.0 Period of Agreement
3.1 The Agreement shall come into effect upon the last signature being affixed and will remain in effect until March 31, 2025, unless terminated in writing by Canada or British Columbia in accordance with the terms hereof in section 11. Funding provided under this Agreement, in accordance with section 4, will cover the period from April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2025.
3.2 Extension of bilateral agreements
3.2.1 Subject to Parliamentary approval of appropriations, Canada commits that the total annual allocation for all provinces and territories for the period of fiscal year 2025 to 2026 to fiscal year 2027 to 2028 will be no less than the total annual allocation for all provinces and territories for the fiscal year covered under the fiscal year 2020 to 2021 agreement. Funding during the fiscal year 2025 to 2026 to fiscal year 2027 to 2028 period will be provided upon the execution of another extension of this bilateral agreement and conditional on Canada’s acceptance of new action plans and informed by the assessment of the results achieved under the action plan set out in Annex 2.
3.2.2 The extension will provide British Columbia and Canada the opportunity to review priorities and, if required, realign new priorities in future bilateral agreements based on progress made to date.
3.2.3 In the event this bilateral agreement is extended in accordance with the terms of section 3.2.1, British Columbia may continue to use funding provided thereunder to cover the same eligible areas of investment as those covered through funding received for the period 2021 to 2025 subject to the terms and conditions of that extended agreement.
4.0 Financial provisions
4.1 These contributions are in addition and not in lieu of those that Canada currently pays to British Columbia through the Canada Social Transfer in order to support early childhood development and early learning and child care within British Columbia.
4.2 Allocation to British Columbia
4.2.1 Canada has designated the following maximum amounts to be paid in total to all provinces and territories under this initiative with a fixed base rate of $2 million per year for each province and territory and the balance of the funding on a per capita basis for the period starting on April 1, 2021 and ending on March 31, 2025.
- $399,347,694 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2021
- $524,347,694 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2022
- $565,847,694 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2023
- $565,847,694 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2024
4.2.2 Subject to annual adjustment based on the formula described in section 4.2.3, British Columbia’s estimated share of the amounts described in section 4.2.1 will be as follows.
|Fiscal year||Estimated amount to be paid to British Columbia* (subject to annual adjustment|
|2021 to 2022||$52,568,988|
|2022 to 2023||$69,499,917|
|2023 to 2024||$75,120,986|
|2024 to 2025||$75,120,986|
*Amount represents annual estimate based on Statistics Canada population estimates.
4.2.3 The final total yearly amount to be paid to British Columbia will be calculated using the following formula F x K/L, where:
- F is the annual total funding amount paid to provinces and territories minus the base funding
- K is the total population of British Columbia, as determined using annual population estimates from Statistics Canada
- L is the total population of Canada, as determined using annual population estimates from Statistics Canada
4.2.4 For the purposes of the formula in section 4.2.3, the population of British Columbia for each fiscal year and the total population of all provinces and territories for that fiscal year are the respective populations as determined on the basis of the quarterly preliminary estimates of the respective populations on July 1 of that fiscal year. These estimates are released by Statistics Canada in September of each fiscal year.
4.3 In this Agreement, “fiscal year” means the period commencing on April 1 of any calendar year and terminating on March 31 of the immediately following calendar year.
4.4.1 Subject to Parliamentary approval of appropriations, Canada’s contribution will be paid in approximately equal semi annual installments as follows.
4.4.2 In fiscal year 2021 to 2022, the first installment will be paid within 30 days after the signatures from both Parties are affixed to the Agreement. The second installment will be paid on or about November 15.
4.4.3 Beginning in fiscal year 2022 to 2023, the first installment will be paid on or about June 15 of each fiscal year. The second installment will be paid on or about November 15 of each fiscal year.
4.4.4 The amount of the first installment will be an amount equal to 50% of the notional amount of Canada’s maximum payment to British Columbia for the fiscal year, which will be calculated in the manner described in sections 4.2.3 and 4.2.4.
4.4.5 The amount of the second installment will be an amount equal to the balance of Canada’s payment to British Columbia for the fiscal year based on the actual amount of the payment determined under sections 4.2.3 and 4.2.4 for the fiscal year.
4.4.6 Canada will notify British Columbia at the beginning of the fiscal year of their notional amount. The notional amount will be based on the Statistics Canada quarterly preliminary population estimates on July 1 of the preceding fiscal year. Canada will notify British Columbia of the actual increased or decreased amount of the second installment in each fiscal year as determined under the formula set out in section 4.2.3 as soon as possible following the release in September of each year of the Statistics Canada quarterly preliminary population estimates referred to in section 4.2.4.
4.4.7 Starting in fiscal year 2022 to 2023, Canada shall withhold payment of its first installment for each fiscal year if British Columbia has failed to provide its annual action plan in respect of that fiscal year in accordance with section 5.1.3 until such time as the annual action plan is provided.
4.4.8 In fiscal year 2021 to 2022, Canada shall withhold payment of its second installment for that fiscal year until British Columbia provides its annual audited financial statement of the last fiscal year covered by the Agreement signed in 2020 in accordance with section 5.3.2 of that Agreement.
4.4.9 Beginning in fiscal year 2022 to 2023, Canada may withhold payment of its second installment for the fiscal year if British Columbia has failed to provide its annual audited financial statement for the previous fiscal year in accordance with section 5.3.2 until such time as the annual audited statement is provided.
4.4.10 The sum of both semi-annual installments constitutes a final payment and is not subject to any further adjustment once the second installment of that fiscal year has been paid.
4.4.11 Payment of Canada’s funding for each fiscal year of this Agreement is subject to an annual appropriation by the Parliament of Canada for this purpose.
4.5 Maximum annual payment in respect of administration costs
4.5.1 Canada’s payment in respect of British Columbia’s administration costs referred to in section 2.2.3 and section 2.3 of Annex 3 shall not exceed:
- in the fiscal years covered under this Agreement an amount of up to or equal to 10% of the maximum amount payable for those fiscal years
4.6 Carry forward
4.6.1 At the request of British Columbia and subject to the approval of Canada's Treasury Board, British Columbia may retain and carry forward to the following fiscal year, any unexpended funds remaining from British Columbia’s annual contribution paid under section 4.2., up to a maximum of 10% of the contribution paid. Any unexpended funds in excess of 10% of the contribution paid represents an overpayment subject to section 4.7.
4.6.2 British Columbia may only use the amount carried forward to the following fiscal year for expenditures on eligible areas of investment made under section 2.2 incurred that fiscal year.
4.6.3 For greater certainty, any unexpended funds remaining from British Columbia’s annual contribution paid under section 4.2, up to a maximum of 10% of the contribution paid to British Columbia in the last year of the Agreement signed in 2020, is eligible for carry forward to the first year of this Agreement.
4.6.4 For greater certainty, any amount carried forward under section 4.6.1 is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to British Columbia under section 4.2 of this Agreement during the fiscal year in which the funding is carried forward.
4.6.5 All amounts carried forward to the next fiscal year, pursuant to section 4.6.1 must be spent by the end of the fiscal year. British Columbia is not entitled to retain any such carried forward amounts that remain unexpended after the end of that fiscal year, nor is it entitled to retain any balance of Canada's contribution paid pursuant to section 4.2 that remains unexpended at the end of that fiscal year and that is not carried forward in accordance with section 4.6.1. Such amounts are considered debts to Canada and shall be repaid in accordance with section 4.7.
4.7 Repayment of overpayment
4.7.1 In the event payments made to British Columbia exceed the amount to which British Columbia is entitled under the Agreement, the amount of the excess is a debt due to Canada and shall be repaid to Canada upon receipt by British Columbia of notice to do so and within the period specified in the notice.
4.7.2 Canada shall, in addition to any other remedies available, have the right to recover the debt by deducting or setting-off the amount of the debt from any future contribution payable to British Columbia under this Agreement.
4.8 Use of funds
4.8.1 Canada and British Columbia agree that funds provided by Canada under this Agreement will only be used by British Columbia in accordance with the areas for investment outlined in section 2.2 of this Agreement.
5.1 Action plan
5.1.1 British Columbia has completed and shared its action plan for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 with Canada as set out in Annex 2 of this Agreement. Upon signature of this Agreement by both Parties, British Columbia will publicly release their action plan which:
- identifies specific priority areas for investment and objectives, within the Framework’s parameters, which builds upon the progress to date, including maintaining and building on the more affordable spaces created under the 2017 to 2021 Agreement, and further enhancing the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and/or inclusivity of their early learning and child care system, with consideration for those more in need as described in section 2.2.5
- describes how British Columbia plans to address the early learning and child care needs of its children/families more in need, as described in section 2.2.5
- describes aspects of the planned spending for innovative initiatives
- demonstrates and confirms that federal investments will be incremental, and will not displace existing British Columbia early learning and child care spending
- outlines the indicators that will be reported on annually according to their planned investments
- identifies specific targets for each indicator that will be reported on annually for tracking progress in relation to the objectives of the Agreement
- may identify additional jurisdiction-specific indicators for tracking progress in relation to the objectives of the Agreement
- includes a description of consultation processes referred to in section 5.1.2, the type of groups consulted and annual priorities related to stakeholder feedback
5.1.2 British Columbia will consult with parents, child care providers, experts, Indigenous peoples, official language minority communities and other interested Canadians as an important step in developing and revising its action plan.
5.1.3 By May 1st of each fiscal year during the period of this Agreement, starting in fiscal year 2022 to 2023, British Columbia agrees to share with Canada an annual action plan. The annual action plan shall include the elements described in section 5.1.1 a) to h). Once the Parties agree that the annual action plan is final, it may be published by one or both of the Parties.
5.1.4 The action plan may be amended by mutual consent of the Parties with the spirit and intent of this Agreement if deemed necessary by the Province to reflect shifts in approach necessitated by changing circumstances or priorities. Parties must mutually agree that an amended action plan will still meet the undertakings set out in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. British Columbia will share such amendments with Canada and release any such amendments publicly.
5.1.5 British Columbia will share with Canada the results of any consultations undertaken during the development of its action plan. British Columbia recognizes that consultations with parents, child care providers, experts, Indigenous peoples and other interested residents of British Columbia are important for developing and revising its action plan.
5.2.1 By no later than October 1 of each fiscal year during the Period of this Agreement, British Columbia agrees to:
- prepare, publish and disseminate to the public an annual report, outlining the investments and results of the previous fiscal year, in the format and manner decided jointly by Canada and British Columbia. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Agreement and shall include:
- brief description of the activities, expenditures and results of the Agreement as set out in Annex 2 and Annex 3
- results achieved according to the indicators and targets referred to in Annex 2 and Annex 3
- the impact on families referred to in Annex 2
- results achieved on innovation referred to in Annex 2
- description of any relevant consultation processes, the type of groups consulted and the relation to the priorities referred to in Annex 2
- any additional results of evaluation activities undertaken in the fiscal year, as available
- continue to contribute data for the publication of the joint Federal-Provincial/Territorial report on Public Investments in Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada (for investments and results of the previous fiscal year). This shall include the number of children benefiting from subsidies, number of licensed early learning and child care spaces broken down by age of child and type of setting
5.2.2 By mutual agreement, Canada, with prior notice and the opportunity provided to review and comment, may incorporate all or any part or parts of British Columbia’s Annual Report, as described in section 5.2.1, into any public report that Canada or British Columbia may prepare for their own purposes, including any reports to Parliament or reports that may be made public.
5.3.1 British Columbia will ensure that expenditure information presented in the annual report is, in accordance with provincial standard accounting practices, complete and accurate.
5.3.2 By no later than October 1 of the subsequent fiscal year during the period of this Agreement, British Columbia agrees to provide to Canada an audited financial statement of payments and expenses received from Canada under this Agreement during the preceding fiscal year.
- The revenue section of the statement shall show the amount received from Canada under this Agreement during the fiscal year
- The total amount of funding used for early learning and child care programs and services under section 2.2
- The administration costs incurred by British Columbia in developing and administering early learning and child care programs under section 2.2.3
- The amount of any amount carried forward by British Columbia under section 4.6, if applicable
- If applicable, the amount of any surplus funds that are to be repaid to Canada under section 4.7.1
5.3.3 The financial statement shall be prepared in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the audit shall be performed by the British Columbia Auditor General or his/her delegate, or by an independent public accounting firm registered under the laws of British Columbia and shall be conducted in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.
5.4.1 British Columbia is responsible for evaluating its early learning and child care programs. As per established policies and processes with respect to program effectiveness, British Columbia may evaluate programs and services receiving funds provided under this Agreement at the request of Canada and may make public the results of any such evaluations.
6.0 Long-term collaboration
6.1 Canada and British Columbia agree to share and release data as available, and knowledge, research and information on effective and innovative practices in early learning and child care, to further support the development of and reporting on quality and outcomes. Each party will determine the information they will share.
6.2 Canada and British Columbia agree to work together, and with stakeholders, towards the development of common quality and outcome measures that could be included in bilateral agreements in the future that could reinforce the Framework’s long-term vision.
6.3 Canada and British Columbia agree to work together to improve data collection and dissemination on key early learning and child care information for children under age 6.
6.4 Indigenous early learning and child care investments
6.4.1 Canada and British Columbia acknowledge the mutual impact and interactions of the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework and the investments provided under this Agreement.
6.4.2 Canada and British Columbia agree to regular discussions regarding early learning and child care investments related to Indigenous children and families that reside within British Columbia.
7.1 Canada and British Columbia agree on the importance of communicating with the public about the objectives of this Agreement in an open, transparent, effective and proactive manner through appropriate public information activities.
7.2 Canada will receive the appropriate credit and visibility when investments financed through funds granted under this Agreement are announced to the public.
7.3 The Parties agree to give each other 10 days advance notice of intended public communications related to the Framework, bilateral agreements, and results of the investments of this Agreement.
7.4 Canada and British Columbia each reserve the right to conduct public communications, announcements, events, outreach and promotional activities about the Framework and bilateral agreements.
8.0 Dispute resolution
8.1 Canada and British Columbia are committed to working together and avoiding disputes through government-to-government information exchange, advance notice, early consultation, and discussion, clarification, and resolution of issues, as they arise.
8.2 If at any time either Canada or British Columbia is of the opinion that the other Party has failed to comply with any of its obligations or undertakings under this Agreement or is in breach of any term or condition of the Agreement, Canada or British Columbia, as the case may be, may notify the other party in writing of the failure or breach. Upon such notice, Canada and British Columbia will endeavour to resolve the issue in dispute bilaterally through their Designated Officials.
8.3 If a dispute cannot be resolved by Designated Officials within 90 days, then the dispute will be referred to the Deputy Ministers most responsible for early learning and child care in Canada and British Columbia, and if it cannot be resolved by them, then the respective Ministers of Canada and British Columbia most responsible for early learning and child care shall endeavour to resolve the dispute.
9.0 Equality of treatment
9.1 During the term of this Agreement, if another province or territory, except the province of Quebec, which is not part of the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, negotiates and enters into an Agreement with Canada to extend fiscal year 2020 to 2021 Early Learning and Child Care agreement, or negotiates and enters into an amendment to such an agreement and if, in the reasonable opinion of British Columbia, any provision of that agreement or amended agreement is more favorable to that province or territory than the terms set forth in this Agreement, Canada agrees to amend this Agreement in order to afford similar treatment to British Columbia, if requested by British Columbia. This includes any provision of the agreement except for the Financial Provisions set out under section 4.0. This amendment shall be retroactive to the date on which the agreement or the amendment to such an agreement with the other province or territory, as the case may be, comes into force.
9.2 Canada will make publicly available up-to-date early learning and child care agreements entered into with all provinces and territories, including any amendments, by posting them on a Government of Canada website.
10.0 Amendments to the Agreement
10.1 This Agreement, including all attached annexes, except Annex 1, may be amended at any time by mutual consent of the Parties. To be valid, any amendments shall be in writing and signed by the Parties.
10.2.1 Failure by any Party to exercise any of its rights, powers, or remedies under this Agreement or its delay to do so does not constitute a waiver of those rights, powers, or remedies. Any waiver by either Party of any of its rights, powers, or remedies under this Agreement must be in writing; and, such a waiver does not constitute a continuing waiver unless it is so explicitly stated.
11.1 Either Canada or British Columbia may terminate this Agreement at any time if the terms of this Agreement are not respected by either Party by giving at least 12 months written notice of its intention to terminate.
11.2 As of the effective date of termination of this Agreement under section 11.1, Canada shall have no obligation to make any further payments to British Columbia after the date of effective termination.
11.3 As of the effective date of termination of this Agreement under section 11.1 or on expiry of the Agreement in accordance with section 3.1, British Columbia shall have no obligations under this Agreement other than those outlined in sections 4.6 (Carry forward), 4.7 (Repayment of overpayment), 5.2.1 (Reporting), and 5.3.2 (Audit).
12.1 Any notice, information or document provided for under this Agreement will be effectively given if delivered or sent by letter, postage or other charges prepaid. Any notice that is delivered will have been received in delivery; and, except in periods of postal disruption, any notice mailed will be deemed to have been received 8 calendar days after being mailed.
The address for notice or communication to Canada shall be:
Social Policy Directorate
140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau QC K1A 0J9
The address for notice or communication to British Columbia shall be:
PO BOX 9770 STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC V8W 9S5
13.1 This Agreement, including Annexes 1, 2, and 3 comprise the entire agreement entered into by the Parties.
13.2 This Agreement is based on the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, Annex 1, concluded on June 12, 2017.
13.3 This Agreement shall be interpreted according to the laws of Canada and British Columbia.
13.4 No member of the House of Commons or of the Senate of Canada or of the Legislature of British Columbia shall be admitted to any share or part of this Agreement, or to any benefit arising therefrom.
13.5 If for any reason a provision of this Agreement that is not a fundamental term is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be or to have become invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, it will be deemed to be severable and will be deleted from this Agreement, but all the other provisions of this Agreement will continue to be valid and enforceable.
13.6 This Agreement is drafted in English at the request of the Parties.
Signed on behalf of Canada by the Minister of Employment and Social Development (“Canada”) and as represented by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development at Ottawa this 12th day of August, 2021.
[Signed by] The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.
Signed on behalf of British Columbia by the Minister of Children and Family Development at Victoria this 10th day of August, 2021.
[Signed by] The Honourable Mitzi Dean, Minister of Children and Family Development.
Annex 1: Multilateral early learning and child care framework
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers most responsible for Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) agree on the importance of supporting parents, families and communities in their efforts to ensure the best possible future for their children. For more details, please consult the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework.
Annex 2: British Columbia’s action plan for fiscal year 2021 to 2022
This action plan invests BC’s fiscal year 2021 to 2022 notional allocation under the ELCC Framework of $52.57 million to maintaining existing programs that are increasing child care affordability and enhancing equity through targeted investment in underserved communities.
British Columbia’s priority areas for investment
BC's priority areas of investments under this updated action plan are to continue to:
- maintain increased affordability of child care, prioritizing facilities offering care to infants and toddlers
- maintain enhanced equity through targeted investment in underserved communities (Indigenous families and families with children with extra support needs)
These investments will maintain current space numbers and levels of service throughout fiscal year 2021 to 2022 and will not aim to increase spaces or service levels this year. This will ensure no service impacts for families currently accessing services.
The continued investments made possible by this federal partnership will not displace existing provincial funding. British Columbia will continue its current investments across the continuum of ELCC programs and services, including the provincial initiatives and priorities outlined in the Childcare BC Plan. These initiatives will continue to support the Province’s commitment to transitioning to a universal child care system that will provide affordable, accessible and quality child care to every family who wants or needs it, starting with infant and toddler programs.
Note: This table was modified for accessibility reasons.
|Initiative||Targeted improvement||Fiscal year 2021 to 2022|
|Early care and learning prototype sites||Affordability||$31.00 million|
|Indigenous child care||Underserved communities||$10.00 million|
|Children with extra support needs||Underserved communities||$10.00 million|
|Completion of early care and learning scans||Accessibility||$1.20 million|
|Development of a quality assessment framework for child care||Quality||$0.22 million|
|Early Care and Learning Summit||Quality||$0.15 million|
|Total ELCC investments in fiscal year 2021 to 2022||N/A||$52.57 million|
Priority 1: Affordable child care
Early Care and Learning Prototype Sites: continue to decrease child care fees through maintained operational grants to child care providers offering infant and toddler care.
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $31 million.
Evidence shows that cities in BC still have some of the highest child care fees in the country. Only Calgary and cities in Ontario have higher median fees that in the Lower MainlandFootnote 1.
Child care fees are the highest for infants and toddlers (up to age 3), reflecting the more intensive care required for younger children. In fiscal year 2020 to 2021, the median monthly child care fees for infants and toddlers (up to 35 months old) in licensed group facilities in receipt of Child Care Operating Funding (CCOF) in BC was $1,000Footnote 2.
Through the childcare BC prototype sites, enhanced operating funding is provided to existing child care operators, conditional on their reducing parent fees to a maximum of $200 per month per child.
Through the Canada-BC ELCC Agreement (fiscal year 2017 to 2018 to fiscal year 2019 to 2020 and fiscal year 2020 to 2021), BC modelled the introduction of universal child care by investing more than $90 million over 3 years to convert more than 50Footnote 3 existing licensed child care facilities into Universal Child Care Prototype Sites (Prototype Sites). Families accessing the Prototype Sites pay a maximum of $200 per month, per child for regular full-time care. Some families receive additional support through the Province’s Affordable Child Care Benefit and pay less than $200 per month to no fee at all.
Prototype Sites include spaces for school-age children (20%) and in multi-age facilitiesFootnote 4 that are licensed to care for children birth to age 12 years (2%)Footnote 5. BC received approval for these sites from the Federal Government in September 2018, which continue to participate in the initiative.
With continued ELCC investment, BC will maintain an increased level of operational support for the existing Prototype Sites, totaling $31 million in fiscal year 2021 to 2022. Funding to administer low-cost spaces will continue to be provided to existing child care operators who are willing to provide low-cost care up to $200 per month per child, regardless of families’ incomes. The focus of funding in fiscal year 2021 to 2022 is on ensuring no service impacts for families accessing current Prototype Sites. The funding will not be used to expand the number of facilities participating in fiscal year 2021 to 2022.
The Ministry contracted with R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd. (Malatest) to conduct an arms-length evaluation of the Prototype Sites initiative and gather information and evidence from participating child care providers, their staff, and the families they serve. The Evaluation and Analysis of the Childcare BC Universal Prototype Sites: Final Report (the Final Report) is available online, and includes evaluation and analysis on the impacts of $10 per day child care on families and child care providers, financial analysis, possible future funding models, and the Social Return on Investment. The results of the evaluation conducted by Malatest, as well as additional assessment by the Ministry, will help inform the future of universal child care in British Columbia.
With an investment of $31 million in fiscal year 2021 to 2022, estimations project Prototype Sites will maintain current supports for more than 2,500 licensed child care spaces offering low- or no-cost care to approximately 2,500 children, maintaining the same number of spaces as were supported in fiscal year 2020 to 2021 and exceeding the program’s initial target (under the fiscal year 2017 to 2018 to fiscal year 2019 to 2020 ELCC Agreement) of 1,768 full-time spaces.
For families, access to affordable child care is simplified by subsidizing care through the operators. Families do not need to apply to access the low-cost spaces, with fees limited to $200 per month (though eligible families may apply to receive additional benefits through the Affordable Child Care Benefit (ACCB), further lowering their cost of care).
The current selection of the Prototype Sites reflects the diversity of B.C.’s geography, populations and parent needs, with specific consideration being given to providers that serve Indigenous families, single-parent families, families in underserved communities, and parents working non-standard hours.
|Number of children with reduced costs||Number of children accessing no-cost child care (in combination with BC’s ACCB)||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
*Based on maintaining supports for children accessing reduced/no-cost care in PT Sites in February 2021. Based on self-reported data from prototype sites. Number of children accessing no-cost child care is included in the number of children with reduced costs. These 600 children are part of the 2,500 children accessing child care at reduced costs.
ᵃThis number fluctuates on a monthly basis based on the demographics of families accessing BC’s ACCB. Federal funding is used to support families to pay $10 per day for child care provided at a prototype sites; some families are eligible for additional provincial funding that reduces their monthly child care costs to zero.
Priority 2: Underserved communities
Expand culturally-based Indigenous child care.
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $10 million.
Indigenous children make up 9% of the children in BC. While the overall number of Indigenous children is low, these children and their families are more likely than non- Indigenous families to face barriers in accessing child care and are more likely to live in economically vulnerable situations. For example, 6 out of 10 Indigenous children live with both parents compared to 8 out of 10 non-Indigenous childrenFootnote 6. Indigenous children accounted for 7.7% of all children aged 0 to 4 years, but they accounted for more than one‑half (51.2%) of all foster children aged 0 to 4.
The Aboriginal Head Start (AHS) program provides an ideal evidence-based platform for early learning and child care programming for children aged 0 to 6 years and their families. Using a culturally relevant curriculum that includes language and culture, nutrition, school readiness and social supports, AHS provides wrap around family support and inclusion services at no cost to Indigenous families. AHS sites provide child care for children aged 0 to 3 years and from 3 to 5 years, as well as preschool and drop-in/outreach services; AHS spaces are not offered to children over the age of 6. The AHS model of child care that couples capital investments with on-going operational funding offers a model of Indigenous-led child care for a holistic approach with wrap around services for Indigenous families.
A $30 million 3-year investment was directed to the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) and Aboriginal Head Start Association BC (AHSABC) to support the expansion of the Aboriginal Head Start Program through the fiscal year 2017 to 2018 to fiscal year 2019 to 2020 ELCC Agreement. Both capital and operational funding to support space creation and operations was allocated. FNHA received $3.5 million per year and AHSABC received $6.5 million per year from 2017 to 2020. FNHA allocated funding to communities most in need based on population and current resources, and AHSABC selected communities based on demonstrated need and readiness to build and operate AHS programs. The demand for AHS’s initial call for applications came from over 120 communities. After operationalizing this funding, 643 spaces in 31 communities were created, with 575 spaces currently operational and 68 spaces waiting to become licensed and offering outreach services to families and/or group care in alternate locations.
A total of 575 of the 643 spaces are currently operating. FNHA operates 19 sites with 340 spaces and AHSABC operates 12 sites with 303 spaces throughout the province of which 235 spaces are operating licensed child care spaces and the remaining 68 are serving families through outreach until they become licensed.
The focus of funding in fiscal year 2021 to 2022 is the maintenance of operations for 575 spaces and support for the additional 68 spaces, once they become operational in current sites to ensure continued service for families.
British Columbia will continue directing $3.5 million to FNHA and $6.5 million to AHSABC to continue with the AHS services in on and off-reserve communities. FNHA and AHSABC work collaboratively to provide oversight and quality assurance, support capacity development and training in AHS sites. With continued ELCC investment, AHSABC and FNHA will provide ongoing operational funding for the existing AHS Sites, totaling $10 million in fiscal year 2021 to 2022.
Continued funding of these programs aligns with the following government commitments:
- Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act: specifically related to supporting the implementation of the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples articles on revitalization of, and access to, language and culture
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action: specifically calls for better coordination, respect for community drivers and increased prevention programming
- Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification, From Root Causes to Root Solutions, A Report on Indigenous Child Welfare in BC (2016): specifically recommendations to expand prevention investments for Indigenous Families
- final report from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: specifically calls to provide long-term stable funding for wraparound services
With an investment of $10 million in fiscal year 2021 to 2022, AHS sites will not need to re-apply for annual operating funds and will continue offering no-cost early learning and care services to Indigenous children and families. Families will continue to have access to infant/toddler, group and multi-age care, enhanced staffing to create inclusive environments and outreach family support.
The selection of the AHS Sites includes rural and remote communities, First Nations communities, Aboriginal Friendship Centres and urban organizations and Métis organizations across the province.
Note: This table was modified for accessibility reasons.
|Type of program||Number of programs||Number of spaces||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Priority 3: Underserved communities
Maintain enhancement to Supported Child Development Programs for children with extra support needs.
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $10 million.
For children with extra support needs and their families, support is often required to enable them to access beneficial programs and services at an early age. Without timely and appropriate supports, some children with extra support needs may have their potential for full development impacted. For their parents, access to inclusive alternative care options provides the extra support needed to allow them to work and/or study.
The Supported Child Development Programs (SCD) and the Aboriginal Child Development Programs (ASCD) are foundational programs that provide direct support and interventions to young children who have or are at high risk of a developmental delay or disability and their families. In BC, the current investment continues to not meet the demand, particularly given that the number of child care spaces in BC continues to grow under the Childcare Plan BC initiatives.
The fiscal year 2017 to 2018 to fiscal year 2019 to 2020 Canada-BC ELCC agreement provided an enhancement of $10 million annually to SCD and ASCD programs. This funding was intended to reduce wait times for families and provide increased service. Based on an estimated average cost of $7,000 per child, the $10 million annual investment was anticipated to create access for 1,428 children. With the enhanced funding added to the existing provincial funding, it was anticipated that the current waitlist for SCD and ASCD would be eliminated during the 3 years of this agreement.
A significant limitation of the above estimate was that it did not account for children on the existing caseload who were needing an increased level of service. Families of children with support needs are often offered reduced child care hours when the SCD or ASCD support allocation does not meet the needs for full-time child care. Comparison of fiscal year 2017 to 2018 and fiscal year 2020 to 2021 data suggests that the $10 million ELCC annual enhancement resulted in the following:
- an average of 1,192 more children being served each month, improving overall access to inclusive child care
- a 30% average increase in direct service hours across all children accessing SCD and ASCD, enabling access to increased hours of child care
While the number of new children being served is lower than anticipated, data indicates a significant increase in direct service hours across the program. These findings suggest that the $10 million annual funding enhancement has been directed at addressing unmet needs for children already on a SCD or ASCD caseload, as well as an increase in average number of children and families served.
The enhanced funding for SCD and the ASCD will be maintained in fiscal year 2021 to 2022 to continue to assist in meeting the support needs of 1,192 more children with extra support needs and their families each month and enabling them to access child care servicesFootnote 7.
Although the current programs are not limited to children under the age of 6, it is estimated that almost 70% of the current program resources are utilized to support these younger children. SCD funds are delivered to contracted agencies within communities, and these agencies determine how to allocate the resources based on local needs. Under these programs, children under the age of 6 are given higher priority than school-age children in the allocation of resources and supports.
Considering the foundational role of the SCD programs, support to children under the age of 6 in child care settings is prioritized. SCD also provides supports to school-age children in out-of-school care settings; however, the early years are prioritized when determining local budgets. As with supports in the early years, supports in out-of-school care settings include a range of direct supports to enable children with support needs to participate fully in out-of-school care settings.
Communities with diverse and unique needs including Indigenous communities, minority language and cultural groups, and French speaking communities are able to benefit from these specialized supports to access inclusive child care settings as needed. Additionally, ASCD services are delivered within a cultural model, respecting traditional protocol, language and traditionsFootnote 8.
In fiscal year 2017 to 2018, Ministry data identified an estimated average monthly caseload of 5,971 children and their families for SCD and ASCD programs, at any given point in time. The $10 million annual enhancement enabled access for an average of 1,192 more children being served each month. Maintaining the enhancement is expected to continue to serve an average of 1,192 more children per month compared to the fiscal year 2017 to 2018 baseline. In addition, it is expected that children across the SCD caseload will continue to receive a 30% increase in hours of direct service compared to the fiscal year 2017 to 2018 baseline. Maintaining this increase in service will enable more children and families to access more hours of inclusive child care.
|Indicators of success||Provincial funding||Fiscal year 2021 to 2022 ELCC funding target||Total impacts of provincial and federal funding|
|Annual funding (in millions of dollars)||65.0Footnote 9||10.0||75.0|
|Number of children served: point in time||5,970||1,192||7,162|
|Number of direct service hours||1,425,000||1,954,187||3,379,187|
Priority 4: Accessibility
Complete early care and learning environmental scans.
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $1.20 million.
Many families with children in B.C. face long wait-lists to access child care services in their community, close to home, work or school. Across BC there are enough licensed child care spaces for approximately 20% of children aged 0 to 12 years old. Due to a lack of affordable child care, many parents struggle to find care to cover a full work-day even after children start kindergarten.
The province has been working with school districts to address the lack of child care spaces, and Boards of Education have become involved in supporting and creating child care spaces in schools and on school property. Studies show that having child care at schools ensures smoother transitions for children and better educational outcomes, and it also helps parents with a single drop off and pick-up location.
School districts are already involved in creating child care spaces on school grounds, but without data to understand the priority needs in their district. In fiscal year 2020 to 2021, 62 projects in school districts across the province were approved to receive provincial funding through the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund and Rapid Renovation fund to create almost 2,800 new child care spaces on school grounds for children aged 0 to 12 years.Footnote 10 In fiscal year 2020 to 2021, there were almost 17,000 child care spaces in public schools or on public school grounds for school-aged children and approximately 26,400 child care spaces for all children aged 0 to 12 years old in or on school grounds.Footnote 11
Currently, Boards of Education have no legislative mandate and varying levels of knowledge related to child care in their communities. Boards of Education require additional resources to:
- consider how early care and learning is currently situated in their districts
- build a strong foundation in early care and learning for students through partnerships and infrastructure planning
The completion of early care and learning environmental scans may support Boards of Education in facilitating future child care space creation projects to meet identified needs, including consideration for culturally-relevant services for Indigenous families and inclusive spaces for children with support needs.
Boards of Education will receive funding and support to complete an early care and learning scan. Taking inspiration from the Equity in ActionFootnote 12 project currently underway in school districts across the province, Boards of Education would be expected to conduct an in-depth and comprehensive analysis of their programs and policies. A full-scale review ensures that at a governance level, a learning environment level, and a learner level, early care and learning is represented and integrated into the district system, culture, and processes:
- governance level: review of Board policies, contracts, resource allocation, and staffing
- environment level: review of early care and learning programs on school grounds and community partnerships
- learner level: review of current needs of underserved students (e.g. children with extra support needs)
Boards of Education would be expected to connect with local governmentsFootnote 13 to consider any child care needs assessments completed at a municipal or regional level and with local Child Care Resource and Referral Centres related to any inventory or information they have regarding early care and learning needs in the community.
Boards of Education would partner with urban Indigenous communities, local First Nations and Métis partners in the region and/or Aboriginal Head Start programs or the Aboriginal Head Start Association of BC to ensure the environmental scan and planning exercises fully consider the needs of Indigenous children and families and supports the development of Indigenous-led child care for Indigenous children and families.
The funding could be split between the 60 school districts, with the exact amount provided to each school district taking the following into consideration:
- aligning funding with child enrolment/district size
- increased funding for rural and remote communities that may have increased costs
- increased funding for large, urban districts that may have increased planning needs
Up to 60 school districts in BC could complete an early care and learning environmental scan that could support future child care space creation projects to meet identified needs in their community. This could support the development of new child care spaces in up to 60 school districts across the province.
School districts are representative of the diverse and localized needs of their communities. An early care and learning environmental scan would help them to identify the early learning and child care needs of Indigenous communities, minority language and cultural groups and French speaking communities in their region.
School districts vary in their understanding of early learning and child care. Conducting an environmental scan will build district capacity, support community partnership, and represents a strong first step in integrating child care into the broader learning environment.
|Number of School Districts||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Priority 5: Quality
Develop a quality assessment framework for child care.
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $0.22 million.
A key goal under BC’s plan to introduce universal child care in BC is to improve the quality of child care programs within BC’s child care system. Since 2018, BC has taken action to increase compensation and improve education and professional development opportunities for early childhood educators and other early care and learning professionals. Currently, there is no standard, provincially-endorsed, quality assessment framework for use in reflecting and evaluating child care program quality in BC, including programming provided at prototype sites. The development of one or more quality frameworks would support the investments that have already been made towards quality by supporting continuous quality improvement and ensuring accountability for public investments in child care.
The province would support the development or modification of one or more quality assessment/program evaluation frameworks that could be used to assess quality on an ongoing basis, starting with prototype sites. This would be a multi-year project and funding in fiscal year 2021 to 2022 (year 1) would be used to work with a third-party contractor to evaluate existing quality assessment frameworks, select one or more frameworks to use or modify, conduct targeted engagement with the sector, including Indigenous partners, complete agreed upon modifications to the framework(s) and incorporate feedback. Broader engagement with the child care sector and piloting of the quality framework(s) at prototype sites will occur in year 2.
The initiative would provide funding to a third-party contractor to support the selection and development/modification of one or more quality assessment frameworks and will involve working with a program evaluation committee with representatives from the child care sector who have expertise in quality assessment frameworks, especially the frameworks currently available in BC. The selection and/or modification process will also require working closely with Indigenous partners to ensure the framework that is selected is appropriate for use in Indigenous child care settings or that a framework with a specific Indigenous lens is available for use in Indigenous communities and Indigenous child care settings.
The evaluation process will require ensuring the framework(s) are appropriate for different types of child care including licensed group, licensed family and licensed multi-age care and in different locations such as rural and remote communities and Indigenous communities, with priority for children under 6 years of age. The evaluation will also consider how the assessment framework would be implemented.
A quality assessment framework would be developed that could be used in all licensed child care settings (group, family, multi-age), in rural, remote and Indigenous communities, by minority language and French language child care settings and would be appropriate in settings that care for children with support needs. There are approximately 126,000 licensed child care spaces in BC receiving provincial Child Care Operating Funding or funding as a prototype site.
|Development of Quality Assessment Framework(s)||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
|A Quality Assessment Framework is selected and finalized for use in all licensed child care settings (group, family, multi-age), in rural and remote communities and is culturally appropriate for use in Indigenous child care settings||$0.22 million|
Priority 6: Quality
Plan and host the Early Care and Learning Summit 2022.
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $0.15 million.
BC has announced that it will be moving responsibility for child care into the Ministry of Education by 2023 and is actively working towards the implementation of a universal child care system that will provide child care for every child and family who needs or wants it. BC is in the process of planning for this transition and could benefit from learning from other jurisdictions who have integrated their child care and education departments, who are leaders in the early care and learning field and who have implemented successful low-cost models of early care and learning.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development and the Ministry of Education will collaborate to plan and host the Early Care and Learning Summit in January 2022, which will offer timely information to inform policy and practice based on lessons learned through the integration of early care and learning across Canada and around the world.
Experts from BC, Canada and around the world will meet to discuss challenges and propose solutions to building and sustain high quality early education.
Sessions will explore:
- evidence-based change in policy and global development and its connection to improving education, child development, and outcomes for children
- evaluations of current policy and program changes at all levels of government and across Canada, through the integration of child care into Ministries of Education
- effective policies and practices to further professionalize early childhood educators
- increasing inclusiveness of early childhood education systems and settings
- building equity, the public advantage and the workforce in early care and learning
- lessons learned from the integration of child care within Ministries of Education
These topics will be highlighted by international experts from Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, Norway, Australia, and Sweden. Canadian expertise will include contributions from Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and their work on systems change with a focus on continuity of learning from birth to age 12. BC experts will contribute innovative initiatives that are currently being implemented to ensure that all children and families can benefit from quality, inclusive care, that is integrated within an aligned early care and learning system.
BC will learn from other jurisdictions internationally and in Canada who have successfully integrated or are working on integrating child care into Ministries of Education and who are leaders in the early care and learning field. BC will be able to utilize information and knowledge gained through this summit to support planning and development as BC moves towards the implementation of a universal child care system and towards the integration of child care in the Ministry of Education. This summit will also support networking across the education and child care sectors and the development of connections that could support continued engagement and support as BC transitions to a new child care model.
It is anticipated that there would be 400 participants attend this summit both in person and virtually, representing a variety of child care and education stakeholder groups.
|Number of Participants (estimate)||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Innovation and knowledge
Innovation is vital to achieving BC's commitment to implementing a 10-year universal child care plan. BC has committed to making life more affordable, delivering services that people count on, and doing so in a sustainable and innovative way. This action plan lays out several new ways of doing things in response to these commitments.
|Early care and learning prototype sites||Targeted operational grants: operators will continue to receive new grants enabling them to offer families significantly reduced-cost child care spaces, up to a maximum of $200 per month|
|Indigenous child care||New funding arrangements: In order to better coordinate services provided within Indigenous communities, funds available to the Province will continue to flow through 2 existing Indigenous organizations that have expertise in Indigenous-led early learning and child care. The investment approach exemplifies planning that is community driven and co-developed with several partners|
Under the terms of the ELCC Multilateral Agreement, BC has committed to continue to work with Canada and the other provinces and territories to contribute to research and the general understanding of what works for providing quality, affordable, accessible and inclusive early learning and child care in Canada.
The province is committed to accounting for the new funding provided by Canada and to report on the success of the new initiatives and enhancements to current programs and services.
Note: This table was modified for accessibility reasons.
|Maintain enhanced affordability by subsidizing the ongoing operational costs of new prototype sites||Early care and learning prototype sites: operations||Families of approximately 2,500 children will continue to benefit from significantly reduced parent fees while accessing more than 2,500 licensed child care spaces||$31 million|
|Maintain improved access to inclusive, affordable and flexible child care programs to some underserved communities with targeted program supports||Indigenous child care total||Approximately 643 spaces will continue to provide culturally-based Indigenous services (12 urban sites with 303 spaces; 19 on-reserve sites with 340 spaces)||$10 million|
|Maintain improved access to inclusive, affordable and flexible child care programs to some underserved communities with targeted program supports||Children with extra support needs||More children and families will have access to inclusive child care and children already on caseload will receive more service enabling more hours of child care. It is expected that 1,192 more children will receive service each month, and that children across the caseload will receive a 30% increase in direct service hours, using fiscal year 2017 to 2018 baseline||$10 million|
|Support planning that will facilitate improved access to child care through the development of new child care spaces in School Districts in future years||Completion of early care and learning environmental scans by school boards||The completion of early care and learning scans in 60 school districts in BC, which could support future child care space creation projects to meet the needs identified in their community||$1.20 million|
|Develop one or more quality assessment frameworks that will support improvements to the quality of care provided in $10 per day child care settings||Development of quality assessment framework for $10 per day sites||One or more quality assessment frameworks is/are developed that could be used in all licensed child care settings (group, family, multi-age), in rural and remote communities and that is culturally appropriate for use in Indigenous child care settings||$0.22 million|
|Plan and host the Early Care and Learning Summit to support learnings that will facilitate the implementation of a high-quality universal child care system||Plan and host the Early Care and Learning Summit||BC will gain information and knowledge that can support planning and development as BC moves towards the implementation of a universal child care system and the integration of child care in the Ministry of Education. BC will also make valuable connections in the early care and learning field that could support BC as it transitions to a new child care model||$0.15 million|
The following indicators and targets will be utilized to track and report on results.
|Initiative||Indicator||Targets (by March 31, 2022)||Annual report (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
|Early care and learning prototype sites||The number of children benefiting from affordable child care spaces, including the number of children from underserved communities (Indigenous families, families with children with extra support needs, and young parents completing their secondary education)||2,500 children||Yes|
|Indigenous child care||Number of child care spaces providing culturally-based Indigenous services, including number of spaces on and off reserve||643 child care spaces||Yes|
|Children with extra support needs||Number of children with extra support needs who will access supported child development programs||Maintaining 1,192 additional children on average per month||Yes|
|Early care and learning environmental scans||Number of early care and learning scans completed||60 scans||Yes|
|Quality assessment framework||Development of one or more quality assessment frameworks that would be used to evaluate $10 per day sites, including in Indigenous child care settings||Quality assessment tool(s) developed||Yes|
|Early care and learning summit||Number of participants||400 participants||Yes|
In addition to reporting on the key indicators noted above, BC will report on other indicators as available.
Annex 3: Early childhood workforce funding for fiscal year 2021 to 2022
Whereas, Canada and British Columbia agree that the early childhood workforce is integral to providing high-quality ELCC.
Whereas, the Multilateral ELCC Framework is based on 5 key principles, one of which is ensuring ELCC systems are of high quality.
Whereas, the Multilateral ELCC Framework recognizes the importance of qualifications and training for the early childhood workforce as part of a high quality ELCC system.
Now therefore, the parties agree as follows.
1.1 Canada and British Columbia agree that for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 only, a one-time financial support from Canada to British Columbia will be used to support the recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce.
2.0 Area of focus
2.1 British Columbia agrees to utilize funding in licensed or regulated settings to support the attraction and retention of a qualified workforce, including through training, professional development, wages, bursary programs, tuition support and grants.
2.2 For greater clarity, activities that may support the objective of attracting and retaining a qualified workforce include but are not limited to: providing employment and training supports, lowering the cost of education for those seeking their early childhood educator degree/certificate, supporting the workforce in providing quality ELCC, and improving the ability to provide support to families more in need, including lower-income families; Indigenous families; lone-parent families; children with disabilities and children needing enhanced or individual supports; Black and racialized children; families from Official Language Minority Communities; families in underserved communities; and/or those working non-standard hours. Needs also include having limited or no access to programs and services in the children's official language.
2.3 British Columbia may use up to 10% of its workforce funding allocation towards administration costs.
3.0 Financial provisions
3.1 In fiscal year 2021 to 2022, to be paid concurrently with the contribution provided under section 4.2.3 of the Agreement, Canada has designated the following maximum amount to be transferred in total to all provinces and territories under this initiative: $420,000,000 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2021.
3.2 Each province and territory will receive a fixed base rate of $2 million per year, and the balance of the funding will be distributed on a per child (aged 0 to 12) basis, as follows.
3.3 The final amount to be paid to British Columbia is determined by the formula F x K/L, where:
- F is the total funding amount transferred to provinces and territories minus the base funding
- K is the population of children aged 0 to 12 in British Columbia in fiscal year 2021 to 2022, as determined using population estimates from Statistics Canada
- L is the total population of children aged 0 to 12 in Canada in fiscal year 2021 to 2022, as determined using population estimates from Statistics Canada
3.4 Subject to adjustment based on the formula described in section 3.3 of this Annex, British Columbia’s estimated share of the amount described in section 3.2 of this annex will be as follows.
|Fiscal year||Estimated amount to be paid to British Columbia (subject to adjustment)|
|2021 to 2022||$48,812,100|
For the purposes of the formula in section 3.3 of this Annex, the population of children aged 0 to 12 in British Columbia for fiscal year 2021 to 2022 and the population of children aged 0 to 12 in all provinces and territories for that fiscal year are the respective populations as determined on the basis of the preliminary estimates of the respective populations on July 1 of that fiscal year. These estimates are released by Statistics Canada in September of each fiscal year.
3.5 Sections 4.6.1 to 4.6.5 of the Agreement, respecting carry forward, apply to funds provided under this Annex.
4.1 Action plan
4.1.1 In addition to the requirements outlined in the Agreement under section 5.1, for fiscal year 2021 to 2022, British Columbia agrees to include the following additional information in the action plan (as set out in Schedule 1) for that fiscal year:
- specific priority areas for investment and objectives in supporting the recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce in British Columbia
- demonstrate that federal investments will be incremental, and will not displace existing British Columbia spending in support of the early childhood workforce
- indicators that will be reported on according to British Columbia’s planned investments in the workforce
- specific targets for each indicator that will be reported on according to British Columbia’s planned investments
4.2.1 In addition to the requirements outlined in the Agreement under section 5.2, for fiscal year 2021 to 2022, British Columbia agrees to:
- report to the people of British Columbia and to Canada on the results and expenditures to support the recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this annex
- provide to Canada additional information in the annual report for that year that shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Annex and shall include:
- a description of the activities, expenditures and results of Annex 3 of the Agreement as set out in Schedule 1
- results achieved according to the indicators and targets referred to in Schedule 1
- the number of early childhood workforce staff (current and/or planned) supported by federal funding provided under this Annex including a description of how they were supported
- a description of the increase in recruitment and/or retention of the early childhood workforce in fiscal year 2021 to 2022
- provide to Canada an audited financial statement of revenues received from Canada under this Annex in fiscal year 2021 to 2022:
- the revenue section of the statement shall show the amount received from Canada under this Annex in fiscal year 2021 to 2022
- the total expenditures under this Annex in fiscal year 2021 to 2022
- if applicable, the amount of any surplus funds that are to be repaid to Canada under section 4.7 of the Agreement
The financial statement shall be prepared in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the audit shall be performed by the British Columbia Auditor General or his/her delegate, or by an independent public accounting firm registered under the laws of British Columbia and shall be conducted in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.
Schedule 1: Action plan for early childhood workforce funding for fiscal year 2021 to 2022
In this section
- British Columbia’s recruitment and retention action plan (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)
- British Columbia's priority areas for investment
- Priority 1: Post-secondary access
- Priority 2: Access to continuous professional learning
- Priority 3: Underserved communities
- Priority 4: Transition to workforce for new ECEs
British Columbia’s recruitment and retention action plan (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)
This action plan invests BC’s fiscal year 2021 to 2022 allocation for Early Childhood Workforce Funding under the ELCC Framework of $48.812 million in supporting the recruitment and retention of the early childhood workforce.
British Columbia's priority areas for investment
BC's priority areas of investment under this Recruitment and Retention Action Plan are:
- increase and support access to post-secondary early childhood education (ECE) programs
- increase and support access, and quality of, on-going professional learning opportunities
- reduce barriers and support training and access for underserved communities
- support and incent the transition to the workforce for new ECE graduates
The continued investments made possible by this federal partnership will not displace existing provincial funding. British Columbia will continue its current investments across the continuum of ELCC programs and services, including the provincial initiatives and priorities outlined in the Childcare BC Plan. These initiatives will continue to support the Province’s commitment to transitioning to a universal child care system that will provide affordable, accessible, and quality child care to every family who wants or needs it, starting with infant and toddler programs.
Note: This table was changed for accessibility reasons.
|Initiative||Fiscal year 2021 to 2022|
|Priority area 1: post-secondary access
|Priority area 2: professional learning
|Priority area 3: underserved communities
|Priority area 4: transition to workforce for new ECEs
Priority 1: Post-secondary access
Early childhood educator bursaries
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $25.5 million.
Quality is one of the key pillars of the BC Government’s Childcare BC plan, and early childhood educators (ECEs) are critical to the quality of early care and learning in licensed facilities. Government cannot build a universal child care system without a qualified and well-supported workforce, and the need for qualified ECEs will increase proportionately with the planned expansion of child care spaces across the province. Additionally, there is an identified need to fill the existing shortage of ECEs who are certified to work as infant toddler educators (ITE) and/or special needs educators (SNE).
An important component of addressing ECE shortages across the child care sector in BC is supporting Indigenous students to receive their ECE certification, as ensuring representation in all levels of the childcare system is critical to creating a childcare system that is safe and welcoming to Indigenous children and families.
Providing bursaries has proven successful in supporting all students with the costs of education and is an important step to ensuring that the recruitment and retention of all ECEs, including Indigenous ECEs, will match the childcare system needs as it grows.
The ECE Education Support Fund, through the Early Childhood Educators of BC (ECEBC) has, since 2018, provided nearly 8,500 bursaries to more than 5,600 ECE students through the Canada-BC ELCC Agreement (fiscal year 2017 to 2018 to fiscal year 2019 to 2020 and fiscal year 2020 to 2021). More than 5% of these of these bursaries were paid to Indigenous students; in addition, investments with the New Relationship Trust Foundation through the previous ELCC agreement saw 87 Indigenous students receive funding to support their post-secondary ECE education.
BC will allocate funds through its existing contract to support students for 3 to 4 academic years (fiscal year 2021 to 2022 through fiscal year 2023 to 2024 or fiscal year 2024 to 2025) and will ensure collaboration with Indigenous partners and rights holders on approaches to funding specific to Indigenous students. Students will continue to be able to apply for the student bursary stream at $500 per course (maximum of 8 courses per semester) to assist with tuition and living costs. Individuals actively working in child care who wish to upgrade their credentials will be able to continue to apply for the workforce bursary stream of up to $5,000 per semester to assist with tuition and other expenses such as loss of wages or travel. Amounts for the Indigenous bursary stream will be determined in consultation with Indigenous partners. Students can apply for bursaries for each semester they are taking courses, so one student can potentially receive multiple bursaries. BC commits to continuing to report out on outcomes for as long as the program is available through this funding.
A commitment to longer-term funding for bursaries will create funding security for ECE students and will allow prospective new students to consider the availability of the bursary in the education planning which may help to attract new students to consider ECE as a career. It is expected that overall, this investment will support the distribution of 11,400 bursaries over multiple years, with 1,000 paid by March 31, 2022.
|Indicators of success for ECE post-secondary bursaries||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Work integrated learning
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $2.3 millionFootnote 14.
There is anecdotal evidence to indicate that many students, ECE Assistants, and ECEs do not begin or continue with their post-secondary education to gain/upgrade their credential due to an inability to study while maintaining employment. To address this, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST) began work-integrated learning (WIL) pilot initiatives at 8 public post-secondary institutions (PSI) beginning in 2018. These pilots were intended to test the feasibility of alternative pathways to training ECEs to better support and encourage the current childcare workforce to upgrade qualifications while remaining employed.
Based on the experience of the WIL pilots of the past 3 years, WIL is a desirable academic pathway. Students choose a post-secondary program and the post-secondary institution establishes a partnership with childcare providers to complete workplace-based practicum requirements. Students work towards their credentials to become early childhood educators while continuing to be employed in the sector.
It is proposed that BC build off the learnings from these pilots and work with public post-secondary institutions to develop a framework and guidelines for a work-integrated learning model for ECEs that could be applied across the province. This model would enable students enrolled in an ECE program to become fully certified while continuing to be employed in the sector. This will be a multi-year project; by March 31, 2022, the framework and guidelines for the work integrated learning model, and a Call for Proposals for public post-secondary programs interested in implementing a WIL program will be complete. Program delivery will start in fiscal year 2022 to 2023 and continue into fiscal year 2023 to 2024.
As a WIL program delivery is based on concurrent work and study, program completion takes longer than in a traditional academic pathway, but individuals benefit from greater work experience and income from that work while they earn their credential.
As the Ministry responsible for providing leadership, oversight and direction for post-secondary education and skills training in B.C., AEST has well established policies, processes, and procedures to distribute one-time ECE funding to public post-secondary institutions.
Since 2018, AEST has invested $0.628 million to fund 6 WIL pilots; to date, 69 students have participated in 5 pilots that began in 2019, with participation in a sixth pilot (launched in 2020) in progress.
Once a provincial WIL framework is developed, AEST will distribute funding to recognized public post-secondary institutions through a Call for Proposals process and utilize established financial procedures and accountability measures.
Creating a provincial framework or guideline for work-integrated learning models across recognized public post-secondary ECE programs enables post-secondary institutions to develop WIL programs based on consistent delivery methodologies, policies, and approach, and meet provincial certification requirements. This facilitates a more efficient program proposal review process by the ECE Registry, the regulatory body with authority to both establish minimum educational requirements and approve ECE programs delivered by B.C.’s post-secondary institutions. This, in turn, enables a timelier program implementation by institutions, getting ECE students on their way to becoming certified ECEs.
Through the Call for Proposals process, 18 public post-secondary institutions will be eligible to submit proposals to deliver ECE work integrated learning programs.
|Indicators of success: ECE work integrated learning (WIL)||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Dual credit ECE programs
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $1.150 million.
Dual credit has been a part of B.C.’s Kindergarten to 12 education system since the 1990s and has been confirmed in policy since fiscal year 2004 to 2005. Dual credit is the policy and practice of empowering secondary students (Grade 11 and 12) to take post-secondary courses for credit toward post-secondary credentials, as well as elective credit on their high school transcripts. Taken in a high school or a post-secondary institution, dual credit courses are taught by a B.C. teacher, a post-secondary instructor, or the 2 in combination.
Pairing tuition-free dual credit and credentials such as ECE may also help students living in poverty; students that don’t graduate or transition to post-secondary study have an unemployment rate 3 times higher than degree holders, and they earn 47% less than those with a university degree. Supporting such students is especially important in an economy challenged by a pandemic.
A dual credit working group is discussing strategic approaches, such as a special purpose fund (an existing funding mechanism to school districts), enabling the ministry to specify use and require reports.
This investment provides for a Dual Credit Partnership Liaison in the Ministry of Education and a $25,000 annual grant to help participating school districts administer their early childhood education dual credit programs. Transfers to school districts would be used for staff time, meeting and travel costs, and administration and reporting costs. School districts, where appropriate, may pool resources into regional partnerships to maximize programs and facilitate transitions to post-secondary. The funding also provides $1,000 for tuition, fees, and related costs, transferred to either the school district and/or the partner post-secondary institution upon the successful completion of each course.
Expanding on dual credit programs for ECE will support new and existing partners in growing their programs, documenting promising practices, and reporting results. An investment of $1.15 million will see $50,000 transfer agreements to 10 school districts, along with $1,000 for each course completion (400 courses). This investment will increase the secondary graduation and post-secondary transition rates of participating students, and eventually increase the number of individuals who can apply for ECE certification.
|Support for participating students to take number of ECE courses||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
|Up to 400||$1.150 million|
Priority 2: Access to continuous professional learning
Continuing professional learning (also called professional development) is essential for early care and learning professionals to allow them to keep up with current and best practices in order to deliver high-quality care and learning opportunities to children. In BC, under the Child Care Licensing Regulation, ECEs are required to complete ongoing professional development to maintain their provincial certification, and these requirements can be challenging to complete due to the quality, availability, accessibility, and cost. Educators are most often required to use their own time and resources to attend professional development activities, creating inequities across the province. The following initiatives will assist in reducing some of these identified barriers.
Early Years Professional Development Bursary Program
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $3.00 million.
As referenced above, access to professional learning to meet legislated requirements can be expensive and difficult to access, especially for educators outside of larger urban areas. By continuing to invest in professional development bursaries, BC will ensure ongoing support for educators to access professional learning opportunities across the province, but particularly in rural and remote communities where significant travel costs to participate can make learning opportunities less accessible.
The Professional Development Bursary Fund was established in 2019 with previous ELCC funding to support access to training for early childhood educators. The $1.2 million invested in the program has been awarded to over 300 individuals, agencies, and communities of practice. The program has been administered in 3 funding streams, through a third-party stakeholder: to individuals, to help cover costs of individual courses/workshops; to communities of practice, to support facilitation and participation; and to sector organizations, to subsidize participant registration costs in local or provincial conferences. These mechanisms remove barriers by supporting professionals to access the on-going professional learning they require to retain their ECE certification. This makes it easier for them to meet those professional development requirements so they can keep their ECE designation and continue working in child care programs.
BC will allocate funds to support bursaries for up to 4 years beginning in fiscal year 2021 to 2022 and will collaborate with Indigenous partners and rights holders on approaches to funding specific to Indigenous educators.
Professional development bursaries will build capacity in the field by reducing the financial barriers for early care and learning professionals in accessing high-quality training opportunities. Based on the data available for this program in fiscal year 2019 to 2020, funding could support up to 2,500 early care and learning professionals through funding individuals, agencies, and communities of practice.
|Indicators of success for Professional Development Bursary Program||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
ECE Peer Mentoring project
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $0.500 million.
Research focused on the needs and experiences of beginning early childhood educators in BC inspired the statistic that 50% of ECEs were leaving the field within the first 5 years of workFootnote 15. Educators can feel overwhelmed and undervalued and leave the field for other careers; supporting educators through meaningful mentorship and professional development benefits all educators and connects them to each other and their work.
The ECE Peer Mentoring project began with the intent to support the ongoing professional development needs of beginning (less than 5 years in the field) and experienced ECEs (more than 5 years in the field), and expand the current infrastructure of support with an aim to slow the number of educators who leave the field.
BC’s support of this program allowed educators to respond to their emergent professional learning needs in mentorship relationships and communities of practice. In fiscal year 2019 to 2020, the participating ECEs reported their participation in the program helped sustain them and keep them in the early care and learning field during challenging times.
Through the previous ELCC investment, this project received $0.75 million in grant funding to expand the delivery of a provincial peer-to-peer mentorship program throughout a network of local professional association branches. BC will allocate funds for the continuation of this program, and outcomes will be realized and able to be reported by March 31, 2022.
In 17 communities across BC, this project engaged with 200 ECEs, supported by 19 facilitators through one-on-one peer-mentoring, online support, and access to professional development through communities of practice. Additional funding will allow these peer-mentoring relationships to be maintained, and possibly increase in number, with funding used to honour facilitators and participants’ time through honoraria and community of practice resources for monthly gatherings.
|Number of ECEs supported||Number communities supported||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Development of professional learning opportunities
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $2.75 million.
As referenced above, with the requirements and need for professional learning in early care and learning, the need for sufficient, high-quality offerings in both in-person and online or virtual professional development remains high. There is also a need to continue improving the quality and accessibility of priority topics identified by the ECE Registry and the early years sector, such as Indigenous cultural competencies, inclusive child care, and an overview of the child care system in BC for those ECEs that are new to Canada and the province.
Through the previous ELCC investments, funding was provided to 3 sector organizations to develop new, or update existing, professional development and expand the infrastructure and improve the accessibility through the piloting of online course delivery, which led to the EYPD Hub, a shared online platform able to host courses and discussion groups to increase accessibility for educators. With so many professionals living outside of urban centres, and as the pandemic has shown, online and virtual professional learning is a critical platform for professionals to continue to access quality professional development.
BC will allocate funds through a competitive Call for Proposals process, to support the ongoing development of professional learning opportunities, for both in-person and online/virtual access. Collaboration with contractors and Indigenous partners and rights holders on approaches to funding specific to supporting professional learning needs of Indigenous educators will also take place.
Investing in the ongoing professional development of educators demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvement of educators' learning and quality programming for children. This funding will address priority topics, and ensure training is available for educators to develop cultural competencies and awareness to care for and support Indigenous children and families. The professional learning course offerings will be piloted with up to 300 ECL professionals once developed.
An expansion of the number of professional development course offerings on the EYPD Hub will continue to utilize the resource created and centralize where educators find professional development opportunities.
|Number of ECL professionals accessing new/expanded online and in-person learning opportunities||Investment|
Priority 3: Underserved communities
Inclusion support training for working with children with challenging behaviours
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $1.00 million.
Inclusive child care is based on the principle that all children have equitable access to quality learning and care that embraces their diversity and abilities, including children with support needs. Inclusive child care supports all children to learn and play, and ensures opportunities for meaningful participation for all children in all aspects of the child care program. Quality child care in an inclusive child-centered approach also includes collaboration between caregivers and parents.
Challenging behaviours in children can have a potentially adverse impact on child care programs, staff, and families. Child care staff are often not well equipped to approach challenging behaviours in an inclusive manner, and often times, children with challenging behaviours are referred to the Supported Child Development (SCD) or Aboriginal Supported Child Development (ASCD) programs for a one-to-one support worker and/or for consultation to help manage these behaviours. The demand for SCD and ASCD programs is high, with wait times of up to 2 years in some areas of the province. When families are not able to access SCD and ASCD programs, families may have to seek out other child care options.
BC will allocate $1 million in funds to support research and engagement in collaboration with ECEs and other key community stakeholders, and creation of on-line resources and training modules for child care staff.
Currently there are limited quality resources available for child care providers in several key areas for children with support needs and specifically children with challenging behaviors; to mitigate this, introductory level training materials will be developed to raise awareness about inclusion and its importance in the delivery of quality child care. Training modules will also be created for educators to support their understanding and work with children with challenging behaviors in a trauma informed, culturally safe manner. These self-guided training opportunities will help to build capacity in the sector and promote inclusive practice in child care settings, making it possible for more children with support needs to access child care programs.
|Indicators of success for inclusive care training||Investment|
|Professional learning modules developed and made available to ECEs across the province||$1.00 million|
Professional learning opportunities to support deaf and hard of hearing community
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $0.25 million.
In discussion with provincial deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) partner organizations, it has become clear that there is a lack of professional learning opportunities for educators working with DHH children and families. Often generalized into inclusive child care, the unique needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing are not adequately addressed and educators cannot easily seek out relevant training. Additionally, professional learning opportunities are often not accessible to educators who may be DHH themselves.
It is often difficult for deaf and hard of hearing early childhood educators to participate in professional development that has not been made accessible for their communication needs. Improving accessibility and inclusion will continue to be prioritized with the federal legislation Accessible Canada Act and upcoming provincial legislation in removing barriers to participation.
Funding to improve accessibility of professional learning for deaf and hard of hearing professionals will also be considered as part of all future course development, in consultation with DHH partners.
BC will allocate funds for the development of professional learning for educators working with DHH children and families, in collaboration with provincial early years DHH organizations and through a competitive Call for Proposal process. Funds will also be allocated to add accessible features to current online professional development on the EYPD Hub, such as appropriate closed captions and American Sign Language interpretation.
With resources to improve their practice and care of DHH children, educators can provide high-quality and inclusive programming to all children. Providing resources also improves accessibility for DHH educators to participate in professional development. Supporting DHH educators in BC shows their value in the sector, and their role in expanding the current workforce to staff inclusive child care spaces.
|Indicators of success for professional learning opportunities to support deaf and hard of hearing community||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Support for ECEs with francophone or international credentials
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $0.75 million.
The ECE Registry reportedly receives approximately 300 to 400 applications for certification annually, from individuals who have completed their education outside of Canada and from Francophone Canadians. Applicants are responsible for the cost of translating all required documentation, such as transcripts and syllabi. The average cost of translation is approximately $5,000Footnote 16, but can be more, depending on the number of documents being translated and the translation service used by the applicant. These high costs often deter individuals from proceeding with their applications.
BC needs to supplement its domestic supply of ECEs to meet its Childcare BC target of 10,000 additional ECEs and other child care staff, by 2028 (this figure does not account for future space creation). B.C.’s ECE Labour Market Outlook Report: 2019 shows that 23% of the projected supply of ECEs and ECE Assistants (ECEAs) in BC, over the next 10 years, will come from immigration outside of CanadaFootnote 17; for this reason, ensuring fewer barriers to the application process is critical to recruiting these educators who have completed their education in French or other non-English speaking countries.
BC will allocate funds through a Call for Proposal process, to provide funding to offset some of the costs associated with translation fees.
Establishing a fund to offset some of the costs for translation for applicants educated in French or another non-English language may assist in the recruitment of individuals who may otherwise achieve certification and be able to enter the ECE workforce, but are prevented from applying due to the barrier created by the high cost of document translation. Funding could be prioritized to support specific demographics, such as Francophone applicants, which would align with the Federal Government’s Francophone Immigration Strategy, and with the ELCC goals to increase the number of Francophone educators.
Increasing the number of internationally educators in BC is an integral part of government’s ECE Recruitment Strategy and will play a significant role in expanding the current workforce to staff child care spaces, to meet ongoing demand.
|Number of applicants supported||Increase in number of applications received by the ECE Registry||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Priority 4: Transition to workforce for new ECEs
ECE workforce recruitment and retention incentives
Fiscal year 2021 to 2022: $11.612 million.
B.C. continues to experience a significant shortage of ECEs to meet staffing requirements in licensed settings, and this ongoing pressure both impacts families’ ability to access quality child care arrangements and constrains government’s capacity to create and operationalize new child care spaces, to meet demand. Recent modelling based on population projections suggests that 10,000 new ECEs will be needed by 2028 to meet anticipated space needs for children ages birth to 5.
In addition to the ECE bursaries, which supports students’ educational costs, recruitment/retention incentives will be offered to encourage those students, as well as others who may have ECE education but have not acquired their ECE certification, to work in licensed child care sector. These incentives will also further encourage ECE Assistants to complete their ECE education for full certification.
To draw and retain new ECEs to come to work in the sector, and incent ECE Assistants to upgrade to full ECE certification, B.C. will provide funding to a contracted third-party for delivery of a recruitment/retention incentive program that is developed through the fall of 2021, communicated in fiscal year 2021 to 2022, and implemented over multiple years to encourage new ECEs who become certified through the ECE Registry and work in the sector for a specified period of time, and to improve information and understanding about retention.
Funding for recruitment and retention incentives for up to 5,000 new ECEs would demonstrate government’s commitment to increasing supports for the ECE workforce, and incent ECEs to enter and remain in the sector, allowing for increased quality and continuity of child care programming; access to quality child care space; and facilitating and maintaining ongoing space creation.
|Indicators of success for ECE recruitment and retention incentives||Investment (fiscal year 2021 to 2022)|
Tables 24: Summary of indicators and targets by March 31, 2022
Note: The tables below have been modified for accessibility reasons.
|Initiative||Indicator||Targets (by March 31, 2022)||Targets (overall)||Annual report|
|ECE bursaries, including Indigenous stream||Number of ECE bursaries paid||1,000||11,400||Yes|
|Work integrated learning (WIL) model||
||140 post-secondary seats||Yes|
|Dual credit ECE programs||Support for participating students to take a number of ECE courses||Funds distributed to 10 school districts and planning underway for fiscal year 2022 to 2023 intakes||Up to 400||Yes|
|Initiative||Indicator||Targets (by March 31, 2022)||Targets (overall)||Annual report|
|Early years professional development bursary||Number of ECEs supported||250||3,500||Yes|
|Peer Mentoring project||Number of ECEs supported||200||200||Yes|
|Professional learning opportunities||Number of ECL professionals accessing opportunities||
|Initiative||Indicator||Targets (by March 31, 2022)||Targets (overall)||Annual report|
|Inclusion support training||Professional learning modules developed and made available to ECEs across the province||
||Professional learning modules completed and available||Yes|
|Professional learning for deaf and hard of hearing communities||
||Accessible professional learning opportunities and resources are completed and available||Yes|
|Support for translation of international and francophone ECE documents||
|Initiative||Indicator||Targets (by March 31, 2022)||Targets (overall)||Annual report|
|Recruitment and retention incentives for new ECEs||Increase in number of applications received by the ECE Registry||Program development and communication about program||5,000 new ECEs enter the workforce||Yes|
Tables 25: Summary of fiscal year 2021 to 2022 investments
Note: The tables below have been modified for accessibility reasons.
|Post secondary bursaries||Funding security for ECE students will allow prospective new students to consider the availability of approximately 11,400 bursaries in their education planning, which may help to attract new students to consider ECE as a career|
|Work integrated learning||A provincial framework and guideline for WIL models across recognized public ECE programs will ensure programs based on consistent delivery and approach, which will facilitate efficient program review and approvals by the ECE Registry, allowing programs to begin accepting students faster|
|Dual credit||An increase in the post-secondary transition rates of participating students will eventually increase the number of individuals who can apply for ECE certification|
|Professional development bursaries||Continued capacity-building in the field by reducing the financial barriers for early care and learning professionals in accessing high-quality training opportunities|
|Peer mentoring program||Educators are better able to respond to their emergent professional learning needs in mentorship relationships and communities of practice, plus sustains them and keeps them in the field longer|
|Development of professional learning||Ability to address priority topics and ensure training is available around the province to all educators who want and need it|
|Inclusive supports training for challenging behaviours||Training modules will support educator understanding and work with children with challenging behaviors in a trauma informed, culturally safe manner, building capacity in the sector and making it possible for more children with support needs to access child care programs|
|Professional learning for deaf and hard of hearing communities||Resources and opportunities to build capacity for working with DHH children and families will ensure high-quality and inclusive programming for all children, by all educators around the province; accessible resources also improves accessibility and capacity building for DHH educators|
|Support for translation of francophone and international credentials||An increased number of Francophone and internationally-educated educators in BC is significant in expanding the current workforce to staff child care spaces, to meet ongoing demand; it will also better ensure broad representation of the variety of cultures in BC communities|
|Recruitment and retention incentives||Payments will encourage new ECEs in transitioning to, and remaining in, the sector, allowing for increased quality and continuity of child care programming; access to quality child care space; and facilitating and maintaining ongoing space creation|
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