Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement – 2020-2021

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Between:

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 styled as 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 Manitoba (hereinafter referred to as “Manitoba” or “Government of Manitoba”) as represented by the Minister of Families (herein referred to as “the Manitoba Minister”)

Referred to collectively as the “Parties”

Preamble

Whereas, Canada and Manitoba agreed to a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework on June 12, 2017 which articulated their shared vision for early learning and child care and describes their approach to achieve this vision;

Whereas, the governments of Canada and Manitoba have committed to work together to further develop child care, in full respect of their responsibilities to their citizens, and recognizing that the Government of Manitoba has the primary responsibility for the design and delivery of early learning and child care programs and services in Manitoba;

Whereas, the Department of Employment and Social Development Act 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 the federal Minister;

Whereas, The Community Child Care Standards Actand The Executive Government Organization Act authorize the Manitoba Minister to enter into agreements with the Government of Canada under which Canada undertakes to provide funding toward costs incurred by the Government of Manitoba for the provision of early learning and child care programs and services;

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 six 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 and distinct Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care (IELCC) Framework in September 2018.

Whereas, Manitoba supports licensing of early learning and child care facilities and provides early learning and child care services for Manitoba children including Indigenous children accessing services off-reserve.

Whereas, in accordance with section 3.0 of the Agreement,Canada and Manitoba wish to renew the Agreement for a period of one year commencing April 1st 2020 and ending March 31, 2021, on the same terms and conditions as in the Agreement, save and except for amendments as provided herein;

Whereas, intentions to renew the Agreement were stated in writing and negotiations had commenced prior to the expiry of the Agreement;

Whereas, Canada and Manitoba will continue to work together towards a renewed Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement;

Whereas Canada and Manitoba further agree to amend the Agreement; and

Now therefore, Canada and Manitoba agree as follows:

1.0 Vision for early learning and child care

Canada and Manitoba agree that the long term vision, principles and objectives for early learning and child care, which are set out in the Framework that is attached as an annex (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 Objectives

2.1.1 Canada and Manitoba agree that over the period of this Agreement, with financial support from Canada, Manitoba 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, as described in the Annex 1, by increasing the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in early learning and child care, towards achieving the objectives of:

  1. building on existing investments in Manitoba early learning and child care to enhance and expand early learning and child care services and programs that support the needs of children, parents, families, and communities in Manitoba

Manitoba’s approach to achieving these objectives is set out in its Action Plan attached as Annex 2.

2.2 Eligible Areas of Investment

2.2.1  Manitoba 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 six where:

  1. regulated programs and services are defined as those that meet standards that are established and/or monitored by the Government of Manitoba
  2. 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 Types of investments include: capital and operating funding for regulated early learning and child care, fee subsidies, training, professional development and support for the early childhood workforce, quality assurance, parent information and referral, and/or administration costs incurred by Manitoba in implementing and administering this Agreement.

2.2.3 Canada and Manitoba also agree to 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.

2.2.4 Canada and Manitoba agree that funding will be targeted toward programs and activities, as described above, 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 working non-standard hours; and/or families with children with varying abilities. Needs include limited or no access to early learning and child care programs and services in the children’s official language.

2.2.5 In 2020-2021, under extraordinary circumstances, Manitoba may allocate funding under this agreement to support short-term measures to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on Manitoba’s ELCC system. These measures must be aligned with the principles of the Multilateral ELCC Framework and be used to sustain ELCC programs and services.

2.3 Official Language Minority Communities

2.3.1  In developing and administering its early learning and child care programs and services, Manitoba agrees to take into account the needs of official language minority communities in Manitoba.

3.0 Period of agreement

3.1 This Agreement shall come into effect upon the last signature being affixed and will remain in effect until March 31, 2020, unless terminated in writing by Canada or Manitoba, in accordance with the terms and conditions set out in section 11. Funding provided under this Agreement, in accordance with section 4, will cover the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020. Amendments to this agreement shall come into effect upon the last signature being affixed and will remain in effect until March 31, 2021, unless terminated in writing by Canada or Manitoba in accordance with the terms hereof in section 11. Funding provided under this amended Agreement, in accordance with section 4, will cover the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

3.2 Renewal of Bilateral Agreements

3.2.1 Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2021-2022 to 2027-2028 will be no less than the annual allocation of this current agreement. Funding for future years will be provided upon the renewal of a bilateral agreement that will include a mutually agreed to new Manitoba Action Plan informed by the results achieved under the Action Plan set out in Annex 2.  

3.2.2 The renewal process will provide Manitoba and Canada the opportunity to review and realign new priorities in response to emerging local and regional early learning and child care priorities and to course correct, if required, in future bilateral agreements based on progress made to date.

3.2.3 In the event this Agreement is renewed in accordance with the terms of section 3.2.1, Manitoba may continue to use funding provided thereunder to cover the same eligible areas of investment as those covered through funding received for the period 2017-2021 subject to the terms and conditions of that renewed Agreement.

4.0 Financial Provisions

4.1 The funding provided through this Agreement is in addition and not in lieu of those that Canada currently pays to Manitoba through the Canada Social Transfer in order to support early childhood development and early learning and child care within Manitoba.

4.2 Allocation to Manitoba

4.2.1 Canada has designated the following maximum amounts of funding to be transferred in total to all provinces and territories under this Agreement 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, 2017 and ending on March 31, 2020.

  1. $399,669,692 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2017
  2. $399,347,695 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2018
  3. $399,347,695 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2019
  4. $399,347,694 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2020

4.2.2 The final yearly amount to be paid to Manitoba will be calculated using the following formula F × K/L, where:

4.2.3 Subject to annual adjustment based on the formula described in section 4.2.2, and subject to any adjustments that may be required over the period of this agreement, Manitoba’s estimated share of the amounts described in section 4.2.1 will be:

Fiscal Year Estimated amount to be paid to ManitobaFootnote a (subject to annual adjustment)
2017-2018 15,621,272
2018-2019 15,609,534
2019-2020 15,609,534
2020-2021 15,601,932

Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2021-2022 to
2027-2028 will be no less than the annual allocation of this current agreement under the conditions set in section 3.2.1. 

4.2.4 For the purposes of the formula in section 4.2.2, the population of Manitoba 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 released in September of that Fiscal Year by Statistics Canada.

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 Payment

4.4.1 Canada’s contribution under this agreement as set out in 4.2.3 will be paid in approximately equal semi-annual installments as follows:

The total payment for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 will be paid within 30 days after the signatures from both parties are affixed to the Agreement.

In 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 the semi-annual first installment will be paid on or about June 15 of each Fiscal Year and the second installment will be paid on or about November 15 of each Fiscal Year.

In 2020-2021, the first installment will be paid within 30 days after the signatures from both parties are affixed to the Agreement.

The amount of the first semi-annual installment in any fiscal year included within the terms of this Agreement will be an amount equal to 50% of the notional amount of Canada’s maximum contribution to Manitoba for the Fiscal Year, which will be calculated in the manner described in sections 4.2.2 and 4.2.4.

The amount of the second installment will be an amount equal to the balance of Canada’s contribution to Manitoba for the Fiscal Year based on the actual amount of the contribution determined under sections 4.2.2 and 4.2.4 for the Fiscal Year.

Canada shall withhold payment of its second installment for the Fiscal Year if Manitoba has failed to provide its annual audited financial statement for the previous Fiscal Year in accordance with section 5.2.2 (d) until such time as the annual audited statement is provided.

Payment of Canada’s contribution for each Fiscal Year of this Agreement is subject to an annual appropriation by the Parliament of Canada for this purpose.

Canada will notify Manitoba 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 Manitoba of the actual amount of the second installment in each Fiscal Year as determined under the formula set out in section 4.2.2 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.  

4.5 Maximum annual contribution in respect of administration costs

4.5.1 Canada’s contribution in respect of Manitoba’s administration costs referred to in section 2.2.2 shall not exceed:

In Fiscal Years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 an amount up to 10% of the maximum amount payable to Manitoba for those Fiscal Years as outlined in sections 4.2.2 and 4.2.4.

4.6 Carry Forward

4.6.1 At the request of Manitoba and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, Manitoba may retain and carry forward to Fiscal Year 2018-2019, an amount of up to 50% of the contribution paid to Manitoba for 2017-2018 under section 4.2.2 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by Manitoba in that Fiscal Year, and may only use the amount carried forward to 2018-2019 for expenditures on eligible areas of investment under section 2.2 incurred in that Fiscal Year.

4.6.2 For greater certainty, the amount carried forward to Fiscal Year 2018-2019 under this section is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to Manitoba under section 4.2.2 of this Agreement in 2018-2019.

4.6.3 The amount carried forward pursuant to section 4.6.1 must be spent by March 31, 2019. Manitoba is not entitled to retain any such carried forward amounts that remain unexpended after March 31, 2019, nor is it entitled to retain any balance of Canada’s contribution for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 paid pursuant to section 4.2.2 that remains unexpended at the end of that fiscal year. Such amounts are to be repaid to Canada in accordance with section 4.7.

4.6.4 At the request of Manitoba and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, Manitoba may retain and carry forward to Fiscal Year 2019-2020, an amount of up to 10% of the contribution paid to Manitoba for 2018-2019 under section 4.2.2 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by Manitoba in that Fiscal Year, and may only use the amount carried forward to 2019-2020 for expenditures on eligible areas of investment under section 2.2 incurred in that Fiscal Year.

4.6.5 At the request of Manitoba and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, Manitoba may retain and carry forward to Fiscal Year 2020-2021, an amount of up to 16% of the contribution paid to Manitoba for 2019-2020 under section 4.2.2 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by Manitoba in that Fiscal Year, and may only use the amount carried forward to 2020-2021 for expenditures on eligible areas of investment under section 2.2 incurred in that Fiscal Year.

4.6.6 For greater certainty, the amount carried forward to Fiscal Year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 under this section is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to Manitoba under section 4.2.2 of this Agreement in 2019-2020 and 2020-2021.

4.6.7 The amount carried forward pursuant to sections 4.6.4 and 4.6.5 must be spent by March 31, of the subsequent fiscal year. Manitoba is not entitled to retain any such carried forward amounts that remain unexpended after March 31 of the subsequent fiscal year, nor is it entitled to retain any balance of Canada’s contribution for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 paid pursuant to section 4.2.2 that remains unexpended at the end of that fiscal year. Such amounts are to be repaid to Canada in accordance with section 4.7.

4.6.8 In the event that this amendment is approved after March 31, 2020, the parties agree that it is an extension of the April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020 agreement from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021 and as such carry forward provisions still apply.

4.7 Repayment of overpayment

4.7.1 Canada and Manitoba agree that every effort will be made to ensure that the calculation of Canada’s contribution installments to Manitoba will be accurate.

4.7.2 In the event payments made to Manitoba exceed the amount to which Manitoba is entitled under the Agreement, the amount of the excess is a debt due to Canada and shall be repaid to Canada upon receipt of notice in writing to do so within 90 days.

4.7.3 In the event that the second installment payment made to Manitoba is determined to be less than the amount to which Manitoba is owed under the terms of section 4, Canada agrees to pay Manitoba, as soon as feasible, the amount determined to be outstanding by mutual agreement of the parties.

4.8 Use of Funds

4.8.1 Canada and Manitoba agree that funds provided under this Agreement will only be used by Manitoba in accordance with the areas for investment outlined in section 2.0 of this Agreement.

4.8.2 Canada and Manitoba agree that, within each Fiscal Year of the period of this Agreement, Manitoba may move funding between the individual programming categories outlined in its Action Plan in Annex 2 to ensure the maximum use of funding.  Manitoba agrees to notify Canada in writing of any such change in funding allocation, including the rationale for the change.

5.0 Accountability and Reporting

5.1 Action Plan

5.1.1 Manitoba has completed and shared its Action Plan for the years 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 of federal funding with Canada, as set out in the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement 2017-2020. Upon signature of this Agreement by both Parties, Manitoba will publicly release its Action Plan which:

  1. includes a description of the early learning and child care system in Manitoba and an overview of the steps taken in the development of its Action Plan. Manitoba recognizes that consultations with representatives of key stakeholders are important for developing and revising its Action Plan; Manitoba will share with Canada the results of any consultations undertaken for this purpose
  2. identifies specific priority areas for investment and objectives, within the Framework’s parameters, which builds upon the progress to date in the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and/or inclusivity of their early learning and child care system, with consideration for those more in need
  3. describes how Manitoba plans to address the early learning and child care needs of its children/families more in need as described in section 2.2.4
  4. outlines their planned innovation spending
  5. demonstrates that federal investments will be incremental, and will not displace existing Manitoba early learning and child care spending, including spending benefitting Indigenous populations
  6. outlines the indicators and specific targets that Manitoba will use to track progress and report on annually according to their planned investments; and
  7. may identify additional targets for jurisdiction-specific indicators in relation to the objectives of the Agreement for tracking progress

5.1.2 Manitoba submitted an updated Action Plan for fiscal year 2020-2021, as set out in Annex 2, updating their areas of investments and targets, as necessary, outlined in its Action Plan for Fiscal Years 2017-2018 to 2019-2020. This updated Action Plan may include changes to programming and program delivery provided that the more affordable child care spaces funded with federal support continue to be supported as much as possible, subject to extraordinary circumstances. Upon signature of this Agreement by both Parties, the updates to this Action Plan will be publicly released.

5.1.3 The Action Plan may be amended by Manitoba with mutual consent from Canada in a manner consistent with the spirit and intent of this Agreement if deemed necessary by Manitoba to reflect shifts in approach necessitated by changing circumstances or priorities. An amended Action Plan will still meet the undertakings set out in the Framework concluded by Canada and provinces and territories on June 12, 2017. Manitoba will share such amendments with the federal government and release any such amendments publicly.

5.2 Reporting

5.2.1 By no later than December 31 of 2017, Manitoba agrees to provide all available baseline data on the agreed-to indicators.

5.2.2 Beginning in 2018-2019 and by no later than October 1 of the subsequent Fiscal Year during the Period of this Agreement, Manitoba agrees to: 

  1. report to the people of Manitoba and to Canada on the results and expenditures of early learning and child care programs and services. The report 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. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Agreement
  2. continue to provide to Canada data required for the publication of the joint Federal-Provincial/Territorial report on Public Investments in Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada
  3. provide to Canada an Annual Report in the format and manner decided jointly by Canada and Manitoba. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Agreement and shall include:
    1. brief description of the activities, expenditures and results of the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement as set out in Annex 2
    2. results achieved according to the indicators and targets referred to in Annex 2
    3. impact on families more in need, including families that have limited access to programs and services in their official language referred to in Annex 2
    4. results achieved on innovation referred to in Annex 2
    5. description of any consultation processes undertaken and the stakeholder groups consulted; and
    6. any additional results of evaluation activities that may have been undertaken in the Fiscal Year, as available
  4. provide to Canada an audited financial statement of revenues received from Canada under this Agreement during the preceding Fiscal Year:
    1. the revenue section of the statement shall show the amount received from Canada under this Agreement during the Fiscal Year
    2. the total amount of funding used for ELCC programs and services under section 2.2
    3. the administration costs incurred by Manitoba in developing and administering ELCC programs under section 2.2.3
    4. if applicable, the amount of any amount carried forward by Manitoba under section 4.6; and
    5. if applicable, the amount of any surplus funds that are to be repaid to Canada under section 4.7

The financial statement shall be prepared in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the audit shall be performed by the Manitoba Auditor General or his/her delegate, or by an independent public accounting firm registered under the laws of Manitoba and shall be conducted in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.

5.2.3 Canada, with prior agreement from Manitoba, may incorporate all or any part or parts of the said report into any public report that Canada may prepare for its own purposes, including any reports to the Parliament of Canada or reports that may be made public.

5.3 Audit

5.3.1 Manitoba will ensure that expenditure information presented in the annual report is, in accordance with Manitoba’s standard accounting practices, complete and accurate.

5.4 Evaluation

5.4.1 As per established policies and processes with respect to program effectiveness, Manitoba may evaluate programs and services receiving funds provided under this Agreement and make public the results of any such evaluations. 

6.0 Long-term Collaboration

6.1 Canada and Manitoba agree to share and release data as available, and to share 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. Canada and Manitoba 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.

6.2 Canada and Manitoba agree to work together to improve data collection and dissemination on key early learning and child care information for children under age six.

6.3 While respecting the federal/Indigenous partnership in the Indigenous early learning and child care framework, Canada and Manitoba agree to exchange information regarding both streams of investment into early learning and child care within Canada.

7.0 Communications

7.1 Canada and Manitoba agree on the importance of communicating with citizens about the objectives of this Agreement in an open, transparent, effective and proactive manner through appropriate public information activities.

7.2 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.

7.3 Each government will receive the appropriate credit and visibility when investments financed through funds granted under this Agreement are announced to the public.    

7.4 Canada reserves the right to conduct public communications, announcements, events, outreach and promotional activities about the Framework and bilateral agreements. Canada agrees to give Manitoba 10 days advance notice and advance copies of public communications related to the Framework, bilateral agreements, and results of the investments of this Agreement.

7.5 Manitoba reserves the right to conduct public communications, announcements, events, outreach and promotional activities about the Framework and bilateral agreements. Manitoba agrees to give Canada 10 days advance notice and advance copies of public communications related to the Framework, bilateral agreements, and results of the investments of this Agreement.

8.0 Dispute resolution

8.1 Canada and Manitoba 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 Manitoba 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 Manitoba, as the case may be, may notify the other party in writing of the failure or breach. Upon such notice, Canada and Manitoba will endeavor to resolve the issue in dispute bilaterally through their Designated Officials.

8.3 If a dispute cannot be resolved by Designated Officials, then the dispute will be referred to the Deputy Ministers of Canada and Manitoba most responsible for early learning and child care, and if it cannot be resolved by them, then the federal Minister and Manitoba Minister shall endeavor to resolve the dispute.

9.0 Amendments to the Agreement

9.1 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, in the case of Canada, by the federal Minister, and in the case of Manitoba, by the Manitoba Minister.

10.0 Equality of treatment

10.1 During the term of this Agreement, if another province or territory, except the province of Quebec, which is not part of the Framework, negotiates and enters into an Early Learning and Child care Agreement with Canada, or negotiates and enters into an amendment to such an agreement and if, in the reasonable opinion of Manitoba, 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 Manitoba, if requested by Manitoba.  This includes any provision of the bilateral agreement except for the Financial Provisions set out under section 4.0. This amendment shall be retroactive to the date on which the Early Learning and Child Care agreement or the amendment to such an agreement with the other province or territory, as the case may be, comes into force.

11.0 Termination

11.1 Canada may terminate this Agreement at any time if the terms of this Agreement are not respected by Manitoba by giving at least 12 months written notice of its intention to terminate. Manitoba may terminate this Agreement at any time if the terms of this Agreement are not respected by Canada 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 Manitoba after the date of effective termination.

12.0 Notice

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 eight 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 Manitoba shall be:

205-114 Garry Street
Winnipeg MB  R3C 4V4

13.0 General

13.1 This Agreement, including Annexes 1 and 2, comprise the entire agreement entered into by the Parties with respect to the subject matter hereof.

13.2 This Agreement is based on the Framework, Annex 1, concluded on June 12, 2017.

13.3 This Agreement shall be interpreted according to the laws of Canada and Manitoba.

13.4 No member of the House of Commons or of the Senate of Canada or of the Legislature of Manitoba 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 styled as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development at Gatineau this 19th day of August, 2020.

[Signed by] The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Signed on behalf of Manitoba by the Minister of Families at Winnipeg this 24th day of August, 2020.

[Signed by] The Honourable Heather Stefanson, Minister of Families

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 on this agreement, please consult the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework.

Annex 2: Manitoba’s Action Plan

For Manitoba’s 2017-2020 Action Plan, see Annex 2: Manitoba’s Action Plan

Annex 2: Manitoba’s updated action plan for 2020-2021

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Manitoba’s ability to deliver on the initiatives outlined in the 2020-2021 Action Plan may be affected. As such, the targets may not be achieved and expenditures may differ.

List of acronyms

Introduction

Manitoba is proposing to update its Action Plan under a one-year extension of the Canada-Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Agreement. Similar to other jurisdictions, Manitoba implemented various emergency measures to help flatten the curve of COVID-19 throughout the province and established a temporary child care system, allowing home-based providers to operate and centres to re-open with a limited number of children. Initially, the temporary child care system was to support Manitoba’s essential service workers and has now evolved to reinforce the staged restoring of the provincial economy by supporting families to return to work or secure new employment.

With the reduction in group sizes in child care centres to ensure safe service, facilities may experience financial challenges with the reduction in revenue from parent fees. Manitoba has continued providing full operating grant funding through June 30, 2020 for all open and closed centres and homes. Full operating grants will continue in the second quarter for all opened facilities. Planning evolves with new information that becomes available through the pandemic experience. However, adjusting the ELCC system to a post-COVID reality and an anticipated change in the demand for child care is key to ensuring a sustainable and effective approach into the future.

The 2020-2021 Action Plan extension was developed with information provided through province-wide consultations and the appointed Minister’s Consultation Table. Manitoba will continue to build on the success of the original pillars and initiatives, while considering the current and future needs of Manitoba’s ELCC sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic period. In terms of costs allocated to the 2020-2021 Action Plan, in addition to Manitoba’s base allocation of $15,601,932 for 2020-2021, as outlined in Section 4.2.3 in the bilateral extension agreement, Manitoba proposes to carry-over $2,384,624 in unexpended 2019-2020 federal funding, for total federal revenue of $17,986,556 in 2020-2021. Under-expenditures were primarily due to the onset of the pandemic resulting in capital project and operating grant delays, cancellations of training events and meetings supporting the mentorship initiative, Competency Based Assessment (CBA) and communities of practice for Circle of Security (COS).

Of the $2.39M being carried-over from 2019-2020, Manitoba proposes to allocate $845K to further develop the action items from the original bilateral agreement in a manner that considers the implications of COVID-19 and any potential future system disruptions. Section 2.2.5 of the extension agreement states Manitoba may allocate funding to support short-term measures to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on Manitoba’s ELCC system. This includes building online training, video conferencing and making other adjustments to child care, such as offering services in smaller settings that address the current and future social and economic environment.

The remaining unexpended funds of $1.54M will be allocated towards a new COVID-19 Response Grant for facilities that have re-opened during the pandemic. This new initiative will provide funding support for additional operating costs incurred by licensed facilities for PPES (personal protective equipment supplies), enhanced staffing to support physical distancing, cleaning supplies, new programming toys and equipment and to address lost parent fee revenues due to reduced allowable group sizes. The grant funding will be important to ensure the continuation and expansion ELCC services moving forward through the economic recovery period.

In June 2019, Manitoba commenced a Funding Model Review of the provincial ELCC system aimed at modernizing the province’s policy and funding approach. The review is focused on strategically assessing the effectiveness and sustainability of the current ELCC model and to move towards an outcomes-based approach that ensures improved accessibility and affordability for low- and middle- income families. The importance of the child care sector continues to be highlighted during provincial COVID-19 Response efforts. With this, the review will allow for the consideration of current and post-COVID measures and the Final Report and Implementation Plan are targeted to be submitted for fall 2020. The consultants and department staff are currently undertaking work that focuses on designing a sustainable and flexible child care system with an increase in child care service options to meet the post-COVID needs of Manitobans. It is expected the findings will inform new provincial priorities that will be the basis for action items to be considered for the next generation of multi-year ELCC agreements.

Also of note, in 2019-2020 Manitoba established the Minister’s Consultation Table. The membership represents a wide range of provincial stakeholders including advocates, educators, facility directors and operators, parents and early childhood educators, from a cross section of cultural backgrounds including Francophone and Indigenous communities. This innovative forum is a formal mechanism to support the ongoing review of bilateral initiatives and to assist in identifying sector needs that can be addressed in the next generation of agreements. This group held its inaugural meeting in December 2019 at which time they began reviewing information from the province-wide ELCC sector consultations held throughout 2019. Two subsequent meetings were held in January and February 2020 where the group focused on the current Action Plan initiatives to be included in an extension agreement. The meeting scheduled for March was cancelled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Table will be reconvened in the near future with the gradual re-opening of the province.

2019-2020 Bilateral agreement initiatives

Manitoba experienced considerable success with the initiatives under the original pillars in the 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 Action Plan, meeting and exceeding a number of stated targets, or in some cases, is well on its way to meeting its targets. In its 2020-2021 action plan, Manitoba has included further development on many of these original projects, in addition to new items to address our new economic and social post-COVID reality.

Three initiatives from the original plan have been paused for 2020-2021, as they are currently not operational or are experiencing significant delays related pandemic shut-downs. They are as follows:

  1. the block operating grant for larger rural and Northern centres (over 40 spaces) offering enhanced funding to overcome financial instability succeeded and will support COVID measures in Rural/Northern communities. Over the three year agreement, 36 centres received the block grants and the funding directly contributed to increasing their financial stability, ensuring continued access to child care programming in rural and Northern regions of the province. Of these centres, 5 offered programming in French supporting 320 children. The remaining centres serviced an additional 1,963 children. The block operating grant has contributed to an overall improved financial standing of these facilities, with some facilities completely moving out of a deficit into a surplus position. Manitoba has paused this initiative for 2020-2021 as large centres have been operating with limited group sizes due to COVID. The funding from this initiative will be reallocated towards the new COVID Response grant. Rural/Northern facilities will continue to be supported through this new grant as it will subsidize the sanitation/supply, specialized equipment or programming needs associated with COVID and any additional staffing requirements supporting physical distancing. This will help to ensure these child care programs are sustained into the future.   
  2. the community organizations grant to hire an ECE to provide casual child care services and establish quality on-site programming for parents, taking supportive programming (for example job skills development training, language training, resume building, etc.) has been paused as programs were suspended due to COVID-19. The initiative supported 32 community organizations with grant funding between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. This initiative was not included in the 2020-2021 action plan as these organizations received their funding in the latter part of the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Consequently, these organizations still have funding to support their services during the 2020-2021 fiscal year. Manitoba will review the possibility of restoring this action item in a future agreement
  3. the Francophone Training Enhancement Grant has also been paused for the 2020-2021 year. Grant funding of $50K was provided to the Fédération des Parents du Manitoba (FPM) in the last quarter of 2019-2020. This item was an addition to the Action Plan later in the three-year term to help re-direct unspent funds towards ensuring ELCC resources and professional development opportunities are accessible to the Francophone child care community throughout Manitoba. Therefore, the funding received by FPM in 2019-2020 has not been exhausted as items were delayed in their execution due to COVID-19. For this reason, the 2019-2020 funds will continue to support the Francophone community in 2020-2021 and additional funding is not required. The continuation of this grant will also be considered for future funding under the next generation of bilateral agreements

Manitoba’s ability to fully deliver on the initiatives outlined in the 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 Action Plan were impacted by necessary provincial COVID-19 related public health and safety measures, with the most significant being completion and full licensing of capital projects. Manitoba expected several projects to be complete by fiscal year end; however, provincial business shutdowns have delayed construction and inspections by authorities to secure occupancy permits. With the province now beginning a staged re-opening, it is anticipated all projects will be completed by the end of 2020-2021.

In addition, several training initiatives expected to occur in March 2020 were cancelled due to a public health order prohibiting the gathering of large groups. Training initiatives that were not completed include: a final COS facilitator training session and community of practice meetings, a home-based mentorship training session and CBA program training sessions for rural/Northern participants. As well, an application process for a portion of the Indigenous Programming Grant was interrupted due to the suspension of regular child care services. This part of the initiative was targeting facilities interested in developing Indigenous programming who did not already have this in place. Consequently, only the facilities that had previously declared as offering cultural programming received grants. As a result, the 2020-2021 plan is to proceed with the interrupted application process for new grant recipients.

The financial impact of these unexpected events are outlined in the table below which details the amount Manitoba is requesting to carry over into the 2020-2021 extension year.

Pillar 1
Initiatives Allocations Actuals Variance
New and newly subsidized spaces through pilot enhanced capital funding approach $6,412,503 $4,160,618 -$2,251,885
Subsidies for new expansion spaces $2,838,075 $2,833,445 -$4,630
Subtotal $9,250,578 $6,994,063 -$2,256,515
Pillar 2
Initiatives Allocations Actuals Variance
SECD - Manitoba Access online platform $110,000 $190,000 $80,000
COS - Core professional development training on inclusion $206,386 $104,476 -$101,910
Mentorship program for home-based providers $50,000 $6,534 -$43,466
Subtotal $366,386 $221,010 -$65,376
Pillar 3
Initiatives Allocations Actuals Variance
CBA programs in rural/northern communities $45,774 $7,041 -$38,733
New operating specialised grant for rural/northern centres with over 40 spaces $312,000 $312,000 $0
Subtotal $357,774 $319,041 -$38,733
Pillar 4
Initiatives Allocations Actuals Variance
New service and funding approach for children with disabilities and emotional/behaviour needs and grant to St. Amant for ABA training $4,823,000 $4,823,000 $0
Pilot to support community organizations offering supportive family services and child minding $450,000 $450,000 $0
Indigenous Programming Grant $150,000 $126,000 -$24,000
Francophone training support grant $50,000 $50,000 $0
Subtotal $5,473,000 5,449,000 -$24,000
Pillar 5
Initiatives Allocations Actuals Variance
General administration $1,716,415 $1,716,415 $0
Pillar 5
Grand total Allocations Actuals Variance
Unexpended funds in 2019-2020 $17,164,153 $14,779,529 -$2,384,624

Section 1 – Updating the Current Action Plan - Summary table of the investments for 2020 - 2021

Pillar 1: Supporting new and newly subsidized affordable and accessible spaces

Initiative: New and newly subsidized spaces
Description of initiative:
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
Accessible, affordable, flexible
High quality
$9,191,125
(operating & start up funding)

Number and percentage of children who have access to regulated ELCC spaces and/or programs

Number and proportion of children from diverse populations served by the capital projects (for example French language, low-income, low coverage, Rural/ Northern)

Up to 1,400 new and newly subsidized ELCC spaces 1,076 new and newly subsidized expansion child care spaces were created Up to 496 additional new ELCC spaces A total of up to 1,572 new and newly subsidized spaces
Initiative: COVID Response Grant
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
Accessible, affordable and flexible
High quality
$1,540,108

Number of spaces receiving funding 

Number of facilities supported to ensure a safe environment during pandemic

n/a n/a Maintain funding for more than 7,500 open spaces during COVID Response Maintain funding for more than 7,500 open spaces  during COVID Response

Pillar 2: Building sector capacity and stability

Initiative: The SECD – Living textbook
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
High quality, Inclusive $270,000 Number of ELCC sector stakeholders accessing the portal for information/
professional development
Up to 1000 sector users accessing Manitoba Access website portal 10,304 unique users accessed the portal Up to 5,000 unique users to access the portal

Up to 15,000 unique users accessing the portal

48 new Child Care Assistants

Initiative: Core Professional Development Training - COS approach
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
High quality, Inclusive $200,000 Number of directors participating in training to adapt COS approach in centre policies Up to 100 facilitators trained and up to 100 providers trained. 125 facilitators were trained and 73 facilities with 490 child care staff were trained. Up to 30 directors to receive training

125 facilitators and 73 facilities with 490 child care staff trained

Up to 30 directors trained to implement COS into business practices

Initiative: The Basics of Effective Board Governance- Online Training
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
High quality $86,370

Number of licensed non-profit facilities trained

Number of francophone licensed non-profit facilities trained

Board members of up to 100 facilities to participate  in training 1,409 board members of 211 unique ELCC facilities have been trained.

Up to 75 licensed non-profit facilities trained

Up to 25 French program facilities trained

Up to 311 unique non-profit facilities trained
Initiative: Mentorship program for home-based providers
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
High quality $15,000 Number of ELCC providers participating in the mentorship program Up to 25 mentees and up to 15 mentors 16 mentees and 5 mentors 15 new mentees and 5 new mentors Up to 31  mentees and 10 mentors

Pillar 3: Rural and Northern Strategy

Initiative: CBA programs in rural/ Northern communities
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
High Quality $50,000 Number and proportion of providers with ECE certification residing in rural and Northern communities Up to 20 newly certified rural/ Northern ECEs 6 participants and 1 rurally based contracted advisor Up to 6 newly certified rural/ Northern ECEs Up to 6 newly certified rural/ Northern ECEs
Initiative:  Hybrid Group Home Child Care Pilot
Description of initiative 
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
Accessible, Affordable and Flexible
High quality
$200,000 Number of new hybrid group  child care homes developed 15 hybrid group child care homes developed Training developed for new hybrid providers Up to 10 new hybrid group ELCC homes Up to 10 new hybrid group ELCC homes

Pillar 4: Diversity and Inclusion

Initiative: Dual Stream Service Model – Children with Additional Needs
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 actuals 2020-2021 target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 target(s)
Inclusive
Flexible
High Quality
Accessible
$4,823,000

Number of children with additional support needs enrolled in ELCC programs

Number of facilities receiving ABA training

700 children with a disability or Autism supported
Up to 200 staff from 20 facilities trained in ABA
846 children with disabilities or Autism supported
265 staff from 28 facilities trained in ABA
Up to 400 children with disabilities or Autism supported
Up to 100 staff from 10 facilities trained in ABA

Up to 1,248 children with disabilities or Autism supported

Up to 365 staff from 38 facilities trained in ABA

Initiative:  Indigenous Programming Grant
Description of initiative
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
Target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 Actuals 2020/21 Target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 Target(s)

Diversity and Inclusion

Accessible, affordable and flexible

$50,000 Number of grants issued 15 self-identified Indigenous ELCC facilities to receive the grant 14 self-identified Indigenous ELCC facilities received grant (one facility closed) Up to 5 grants issued to new facilities serving the Indigenous community Up to 19 grants issued to ELCC facilities  serving the Indigenous community

Pillar 5: General Administration

Initiative: IT, administration, Minister’s consultation table, staffing, etc.
Principle(s) supported Funding Indicator(s) 2017-2018 to 2019-2020
Target(s)
2017-2018 to 2019-2020 Actuals 2020-2021 Target(s) 2017-2018 to 2020-2021 Target(s)
n/a

$1,560,953

COVID-related costs: $230K

n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a

2020-2021 Bilateral Agreement Initiatives – Total Proposed Costs Allocations

Pillar Initiative Allocation
Supporting new and newly subsidized affordable and accessible spaces
1,400 new and newly funded spaces targeted
New and newly subsidized spaces through pilot enhanced capital funding approach $6,357,680
Subsidies for new expansion spaces $2,833,445
COVID-19 Response Grant $1,540,108
Subtotal $10,731,233
Building sector capacity and stability The SECD resources for child care providers $270,000
COS approach $200,000
MCCA online board governance $86,370
Mentorship program for home-based providers in harder-to-serve communities $15,000
Subtotal $571,370
Rural and Northern Strategy CBA programs in rural and Northern communities $50,000
Hybrid Group Home Child Care Pilot $200,000
Subtotal $250,000
Diversity and Inclusion Maintain service approach developed for children with disabilities and ABA Training with St. Amant $4,823,000
Indigenous Programming Grant $50,000
Subtotal $4,873,000
General Administration $1,560,953
Subtotal of 5 Pillars $17,986,556
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