Canada – Manitoba Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

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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 (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 Act and 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, in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, is developing a separate framework on Indigenous early learning and child care.

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.

Now therefore, Canada and Manitoba agree as follows:

1. Vision for Early Learning and Child Care

1.1 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 Annex 1, will guide the investment of funds provided under this Agreement.

2. 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 Official Language Minority Communities

2.2.6 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. 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.

3.2 Renewal of Bilateral Agreements

3.2.1 Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2020-2021 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 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 subject to the terms and conditions of that renewed Agreement.

4. 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

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

F is the annual total funding amount transferred to provinces and territories minus the base funding;

K is the total population of Manitoba, 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.

4.2.3 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 Manitoba * (subject to annual adjustment)
2017-2018 15,621,272
2018-2019 15,609,534
2019-2020 15,609,534

* Illustrative levels based on July 2017 population projections.

Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2020-2021 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 and 2019-2020, 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.

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.

For 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, 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 5.2.1 (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 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 For greater certainty, the amount carried forward to Fiscal Year 2019-2020 under this section is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to Manitoba under section 4.2.2 of this Agreement in 2019-2020.

4.6.6 The amount carried forward pursuant to section 4.6.4 must be spent by March 31, 2020. Manitoba is not entitled to retain any such carried forward amounts that remain unexpended after March 31, 2020, nor is it entitled to retain any balance of Canada’s contribution for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 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.

4.7 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. 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 Annex 2. 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 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. 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 proposed development and implementation of an 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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:

140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Québec K1A 0J9

The address for notice or communication to Manitoba shall be:

205 – 114 Garry Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 4V4

13. 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. Les parties ont convenu que le présent Accord soit rédigé en anglais.

Signed on behalf of Canada by the Minister of Employment and Social Development at Gatineau this 11th day of December, 2017.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Employment and Social Development

Signed on behalf of Manitoba by the Minister of Families at Winnipeg this 14th day of December, 2017.

The Honourable Scott Fielding, 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 agreeFootnote 1 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 action plan

Introduction

The Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Program oversees licensed child care in Manitoba to ensure safe, accessible, affordable, high-quality services that support the positive development of children. The ELCC Program has legislative accountability for The Community Child Care Standards Act to monitor compliance, provide funding, and administrative support to more than 1,100 licensed facilities. The ELCC Program is also responsible for developing and administering legislation, regulations, policies and procedures based on best practice standards and the continuous improvement of child care services.

In 2016/17, there were a total of 1,117 licensed facilities; 699 centres and 418 homes. These facilities operated 35,469 licensed ELCC spaces in Manitoba; 23,259 preschool (aged 0-5) and 12,210 school age (aged 6-12) spaces.

In 2016/17, there was a regulated space for 18.5 per cent of Manitoba children; 26.5 per cent for preschool children and 11.8 per cent for school age children.

In addition, there was an average of 7,281 children receiving subsidized child care in a four week billing period, in 2016/17.

Manitoba’s Vision for Early Learning and Child Care

The Manitoba government is committed to the ongoing development of new initiatives directed at advancing the quality of ELCC services and helping to build accessible and affordable ELCC spaces to meet the changing needs of our province’s diverse population. Manitoba’s new ELCC Strategy is focused on increasing child care options available to families and strengthening the capacity of the sector’s workforce, particularly for groups that are most in need. As an example, the Indigenous population living off reserve is represented throughout the province and currently accesses regulated child care services, will benefit from the planned investments, along with other higher need communities. The strategy is built on key priority areas known as pillars. Manitoba’s Action Plan supports the following five pillars that are part of Manitoba’s new ELCC Strategy:

  1. Supporting New and Newly Funded Affordable and Accessible Child Care Spaces
  2. Building Sector Capacity and Stability
  3. Rural and Northern Strategy
  4. Diversity and Inclusion
  5. Community Engagement and Public Reporting

Manitoba’s multi-year strategy is focused on increasing accessibility to licensed ELCC options for families through a realistic, practical, cost-effective and sustainable plan.

Several components of the strategy have been announced throughout 2017, including:

  • a commitment of $6,181,500 for 15 community-based capital projects that will create up to 739 new licensed child-care spaces
  • new measures to increase the efficiency of the licensed early learning and child-care system by addressing regulatory barriers for operators
  • an application intake for community capital projects to increase available spaces through major expansions or new centre builds; and
  • an annual operating grant increase for more than 300 home-based, licensed child care providers in 2017/18, with additional increases in future years.

Manitoba’s ELCC strategy and the Canada-Manitoba ELCC Agreement Action Plan build on existing investments, as well as creating new opportunities directed at building and supporting a stronger ELCC system in Manitoba.

Manitoba’s Action Plan

The 2016 Federal Budget committed $400M in 2017/18 to support the establishment of the Multilateral ELCC Framework with provinces and territories. In addition, the 2017 Federal Budget committed $7B over 10 years, starting in 2018/19. A portion of this investment will be dedicated to ELCC programs for Indigenous children living on- and off-reserve.

Manitoba’s notional allocations (actual allocations may vary according to the updated annual population estimates) are as follows:

  • 2017/18: $15,621,272
  • 2018/19: $15,609,534
  • 2019/20: $15,609,534

Manitoba’s proposed action plan is consistent with the parameters established under the Multilateral ELCC Framework (Framework). The action plan is reflective of the Framework’s guiding principles to increase quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in ELCC, with consideration of those more in need. The action plan is also considerate of diversity and respectful of the communities in our province requiring additional supports (i.e. lower income, Indigenous and newcomers, Francophone, and lone parent families, as well as, families with children with additional needs, and families in underserved communities, such as Rural and Northern areas of the province).

Federal investments are geared towards strengthening the quality of an evolving ELCC system through new and innovative policies and practices, which are addressed in the pillars comprising the province’s multi-year ELCC strategy and the action plan.

Both the action plan and Manitoba’s ELCC Strategy have been developed based on suggestions and recommendations gathered from stakeholders important to our province’s ELCC sector, including: parents, large community organizations, advocates, members of the ELCC workforce and specific representative communities (i.e. francophone, disability, etc.) In particular, Manitoba families and other key stakeholders have expressed the importance of having safe, affordable, responsive and high-quality licensed child care available to allow parents to go to work or study, as well as supporting families with exceptional needs due to the developmental or medical needs of a child or parent.

Additional main themes that have been brought forward through consultations with the sector and have been included, in some manner within Manitoba’s action plan, are as follows: funding support to licensed homes and centres struggling to hire and retain ELCC staff to maintain quality programming, improve access to training and professional development to support the workforce and strengthen board governance through training/resources for board of directors of child care centres.

Through partnerships with sector and government stakeholders, the vision is to move towards greater coordination across early years’ programs and build on the strengths of our current early learning and child care services to deliver a high quality, equitable, accessible, inclusive and affordable services.

Pillar 1: Supporting new and newly funded, affordable and accessible spaces

Estimated total investment of Pillar 1 - $28 million
Percentage of bilateral allocation - 60%

There is a substantial demand for access to affordable licensed child care across Manitoba. Federal funding will be directed at building on current capital and operational subsidy initiatives by focusing on increasing access to affordable, inclusive, high-quality child care with consideration for families more in need, such as lower-income families; lone-parent families; families in underserved communities; French language, core areas of Winnipeg and rural and Northern regions. Specifically, Manitoba will allocate federal funds towards supporting the creation of new and newly funded infant, preschool and nursery school spaces, through the two major initiatives; a new enhanced capital funding approach, and subsidizing operational funding for expansion spaces.

Piloting a new enhanced capital funding approach

Manitoba will direct funding toward major capital projects to create new licensed ELCC spaces, specifically in communities where access to child care has been challenging and where the capacity to meet the requirements of current capital funding programs has been a persistent barrier. In order to achieve this objective, the new capital funding approach will be supported through a partnership agreement between the Department of Families and the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation (MHRC), both of which fall under the purview of the Minister for the Department of Families. The agreement will identify the role and responsibilities of the two parties including the administering of the funding and timing of the funding. Additionally, the agreement will outline reporting requirements and establish information to be provided by MHRC to the ELCC program at the second and fourth quarter of each year including a year end audit completed by an external auditor. The MHRC will be transferred funds from the Department of Families to support approved capital projects. The amounts of funds transferred will be based on the phase of the projects and will occur at pre-scheduled intervals. This will allow funds to be available to support pre-construction as well as construction costs, which in turn will address financial barriers frequently experienced with fundraising and securing project financing. A contracted external auditor will ensure the accountability of this agreement. In addition, the MHRC has the expertise needed to actively help higher needs communities to overcome potential planning and construction project barriers, and this proactive assistance will strengthen their capacity to undertake potential future projects.

Under this new funding approach, the higher needs communities identified as a priority in the Framework (i.e. lower-income, low-coverage, French language, newcomer and other communities with few child care options) will be targeted to receive enhanced capital funding managed by MHRC), along with start-up and subsidized operating funding issued by the ELCC Program at project completion. Child care projects will be approved based on their ability to increase access to quality licensed ELCC spaces for families with higher needs. It is anticipated the enhanced funding support will assist in addressing higher construction costs often faced in rural and Northern Manitoba. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Develop funding criteria for enhanced capital fund – Based on challenges and barriers identified in past capital intakes eligibility criteria will be developed to permit funding of projects in identified higher need communities.
  • Establish an application process and supportive tools – The ELCC program will develop an application specific to this capital building fund that will include an instructional outline for project proposals, and a question/answer fact sheet.
  • Establish an administration and management agreement – Through a partnership agreement MHRC will provide the administration and management component of the capital fund to provide communities with the expertise needed to actively support projects and overcome potential financial and construction project barriers. This arrangement will also serve to strengthen higher need communities’ capacity for potential future projects.
  • Ensure proportional child care spaces according to need – Increase access to fee regulated infant, preschool and nursery school spaces based on identified community coverage needs. For the up to 750 new and newly funded spaces; 20% infant spaces (approximately 150 spaces), and 80% preschool and nursery spaces (approximately 600 spaces). It is estimated that this will result in up to 10 projects that will include new builds, major renovation of acquired space such as surplus space in schools, as well as significant expansions of an existing centre.

Subsidizing operational funding for expansion spaces

Over the last decade, a significant number of expansion spaces have been created by existing centres to grow the number of available spaces for Manitoba families in the communities they serve. These spaces have not been subsidized through provincial operating grant funding. If centres continue to not receive funding this may potentially result in a disincentive for centres to want to expand their facilities and grow spaces in the absence of a qualifying capital project. To ensure these centres continue to be financially viable while providing affordable licensed ELCC services for families, operating subsidies are urgently needed. In absence of this action, centres make difficult decisions, such as leaving spaces vacant as they cannot afford to hire and retain the staffing required by regulation to provide quality ELCC programming on the revenue they receive from parent fees alone. Supporting the operating costs will help these centres to fill spaces to full capacity of their licence while meeting staffing ratios by hiring qualified ELCC staff. This in turn will help to ensure these centres are able to continue to offer high quality ELCC programs directed at supporting children’s optimal development with regulated affordable parent fees.

As such, federal funding will be targeted to infant, preschool and nursery school expansion spaces not currently receiving an operating subsidy to build the financial stability of licensed centres and support their longer-term viability, while ensuring ongoing access for families to funded and affordable child care through regulated parent fees. Funding these expansion spaces will also incentivize facilities to continue to grow their licensed spaces, without requiring a need for additional capital costs. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Develop funding criteria for unsubsidized expansion spaces – The ELCC program will develop criteria to support the identification of infant, preschool and nursery expansion spaces in licensed centres providing child care services in higher needs communities.
  • Ensure proportional child care spaces according to need – Increase access to fee regulated infant, preschool and nursery school spaces based on identified community coverage needs. For the up to 650 newly funded spaces; 20% infant spaces (approximately 130 spaces), and 80% preschool and nursery spaces (approximately 520 spaces). This is expected to include up to 94 newly funded spaces supporting the French language community in Manitoba (currently 23% of Francophone children in Manitoba have access to child care services in French, with 579 full-time child care centre spaces in 2016/17 for Francophone children aged 0-4, as per the 2016 Census from Statistics Canada).

Both measures will help to ensure accessibility and affordability for families at a regulated parent fee rate, and will assist in reducing wait times for child care, while supporting labour-market participation. Together, the new enhanced capital funding approach and the operating subsidy for centres with expansion spaces, will support the creation of an estimated 1,400 new and newly subsidized spaces, during the three year period of the action plan. This federal funding investment meets the principles of accessibility and affordability, identified in the Framework.

Pillar 2: Building Sector Capacity and Stability

Estimated total investment of Pillar 2 - $1.24M
Percentage of bilateral allocation – 3%

Manitoba continues to see an increased demand for licensed ELCC spaces as our province’s population grows and diversifies. While it is critical to increase accessibility to affordable child care services, Manitoba also understands that within the ever-changing ELCC system, it is essential that services remain to be of a high quality to ensure the best possible future gains for children are realized through positive development. With this, it is essential to target a portion of federal funds to build the capacity of ELCC facilities while strengthening the ELCC workforce to increase access to affordable and high quality ELCC spaces that support Manitoba children in attaining the best possible outcomes. With the increased scope, variety and complexity of needs children and families present, Manitoba understands it is necessary to develop innovative ways to ensure those already working in the sector or considering a career in early childhood education have access to current instructional information and training opportunities that reflects our evolving society.

To build the ELCC sector capacity through education and skill development, Manitoba will allocate federal funds towards four innovative initiatives; web-based education and information tool, core professional development training to support inclusive programming, online board governance training, and mentorship program for home-based child care providers.

Pilot province-wide accessibility to a web-based education and information

The availability of current research and information on the impact of the early childhood development experience on lifelong health and well-being is crucial for individuals currently working in the ELCC sector and those enrolled in a formal education and training program to become an early childhood educator. Federal funds will be allocated towards an online platform functioning as a living textbook to support a flexible learning environment that can facilitate independent study, facility professional development workshops, and support formal education and training programs. The information in the living textbook will align with and support courses in the Child Care Assistant (CCA) and Early Childhood Educator (ECE) training programs. The province-wide access to a series of early childhood development modules will be linked to Manitoba’s ELCC Program website at no charge for all users. Currently, students in formal ECE training programs must pay a textbook fee to access formal online educational modules related to early childhood development. This open access is anticipated to reduce these costs for both the student and training program. Access to the living textbook will also be a cost savings for centres, and home-based providers seeking informal training to strengthen internal capacity and for students pursuing a career in early childhood development. Overall the general public access provided to the tool will assist in increasing the quality of ELCC services provided to Manitoba families as parents/guardians and other related service professionals can use the information to learn about early childhood development. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Establish partnership agreement with a recognized expert organization on early childhood development education – This will ensure the expertise and access to recognized educational tools and information for the website tool development.
  • Launch online learning environment – Online information about the early childhood development will be made available in a series of modules and offered to the workforce province-wide. The online platform will provide a flexible and accessible learning environment for CCAs and ECEs that can be facilitated through a number of mediums including independent study, mentoring workshops, and communities of practice established through sector stakeholders.
  • Establish an evaluation mechanism and plan – Tools to monitor usage and evaluate the value gained by the sector will be developed to determine the effectiveness of the living textbook to support education and skill development.

Pilot core professional development training on inclusive programming

Over the next three years, up to 100 facilitators across the province will be formally trained in an early intervention model to encourage inclusive programming, enabling them to train up to four ELCC facilities per year, as well as provide ongoing consultation on the implementation of individual child and general programming plans. This training will help facility staff across the sector address transitions and behaviour/emotional challenges in a more effective way.

Newly trained facilitators will be supported through a community of practice model, led by contracted consultants who are subject matter experts with exemplary credentials in the program, to assist in the transfer of knowledge through ongoing mentoring and supportive group discussions. This train the trainer model will ensure sustainability of the professional development initiative to support inclusive programming established in regulatory requirements. The goal of this initiative will be to build the skills and capacity of centre staff and home-based providers to meet the diverse needs of all children and provide an inclusive environment. This new training approach will strengthen the ability of child care providers to develop responsive ELCC services while increasing access to child care for children with higher needs, and improving outcomes for children with varying abilities, ultimately potentially benefitting 18,000 children over three years. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Contract with early learning and development specialists and consultants – These subject matter experts will support the professional education and development of the sector workforce through facilitation of training workshops, coaching as well as through communities of practice.
  • Provide professional development - Funds will be directed to cover training costs for trainers, and participants, as well as instructional tools, travel and space.
  • Establish regional communities of practice – Funding will be provided to support regular community of practice meetings and mentorship of trained facilitators.

Partner with a community organization to launch a province-wide online board governance training initiative

The licensed ELCC sector has identified a critical need to strengthen the governance and administration of non-profit ELCC centres, in an effort to build their capacity. The board governance model established in Manitoba’s regulations requires board membership to largely be made up of parent representatives. Consequently, the business and administration expertise needed to run a non-profit is not consistently available and the turn over of membership is high due to the limited time a parent’s child may be enrolled in a centre. In addition, centre directors are not necessarily trained in business practices, as this is an optional stream at most post-secondary institutions. Federal funds will be directed towards a pilot to implement sector-wide, easily accessible online board governance training to strengthen the governance and administration of non-profit ELCC centres. The tool will function as a resource to offer guidance, training and support to centres boards of directors. Actions to support this objective include:

  • Contract with human resource specialists and consultants – Through an ELCC community partner these subject matter experts will support the development of the online training tool based on sector feedback and in line with regulatory requirements.
  • Launch online governance training module - Funds will be made available to cover licencing fees to ensure province-wide to access to the online training tool.

Pilot a mentorship program to support licensed home-based child care providers

Until now, provincial efforts have been focused mostly on the professional development of ELCC centre management and staff and less so on home-based ELCC providers. This has contributed to the decreasing number of home-based providers and limited availability of this ELCC option. Licensed home-based providers have expressed interest in participating in more networking and professional development opportunities to allow them to continue to provide high quality ELCC services to their families. By allocating federal funds to establish a pilot mentorship project, where experienced home-based providers will mentor newly-established providers or those requiring support based on to risk of closure due to financial insecurity, programming challenges, pressures of isolation, Manitoba aims to increase the availability of quality child care options for families, particularly in smaller and/or isolated communities while strengthening the delivery of quality child care services. It should be noted that Manitoba will establish contracts with the “mentors” of this project, who will be subject matter experts and leaders in the home-based child care sector, which will support the personalized, professional mentorship and development of home-based providers and coaching through communities of practice. Actions to meet this objective include:

  • Establish a pilot mentorship project for home-based child care providers - Experienced home-based providers (mentors) will be paired with newly-established providers or those who need support (mentees) to strengthen the delivery of quality child care services.
  • Contract with leaders in the home-based child care sector – These subject matter experts will support the personalized, professional mentorship and development of home-based providers and coaching through communities of practice.
  • These initiatives will build on existing formal training programs for Child Care Assistants, Early Childhood Educators, home-based provides and child care community parents serving on boards to ensure the sector has strong foundational training, thereby improving the quality of early learning and child care services offered to families with young children.

Pillar 3: Rural and Northern Strategy

Estimated total investment of Pillar 3 - $2.2M
Percentage of bilateral allocation - 5%

Currently, ELCC facilities in Manitoba’s Rural and Northern regions face many challenges in operating licensed ELCC services, due to their geographical location, population, socio-economic factors and availability of resources. These factors make it much more challenging for families living in these communities to access licensed ELCC services as coverage rates (total percentage of children for whom there is a licensed ELCC spaces) in all community areas outside of Winnipeg, are below the provincial average. Together, these interconnected factors lead to significant barriers for these specific communities, in terms of the recruitment and training of ECEs, cost of equipment to support programming, and flexibility in type and number of licensed spaces to meet changing needs of smaller communities. Due to these circumstances, it is common for facilities to become financial instable and potentially close, resulting in less ELCC services for Manitoba families to access. Therefore, the Manitoba government has identified three critical pilot initiatives to build the ELCC sector in these communities by improving access to high-quality and affordable child care services; rural and Northern competency-based assessment program, new model of family group child care, and new block funding grant for rural child care centres.

Pilot a competency-based assessment programs for rural and Northern communities

Throughout Manitoba’s rural and Northern regions there is a shortage of formal training opportunities to become a certified ECE. As such, federal funds will be allocated to develop a Competency-Based Assessment (CBA) program to be piloted in rural and Northern communities to increase the number of qualified and trained ECEs, where, in general, it is more challenging for licensed ELCC facilities to meet staffing requirements due to the difficulty in hiring and retaining qualified staff. The CBA program is a self-directed course that provides eligible child care employees the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge, according to child care regulations, to become classified as an ECE II. The CBA Program will be offered to participants as a part-time self-assessment process guided by a contracted advisor at the ECE III level, to demonstrate and document both formal and informal learning in order to obtain recognition of their skills, knowledge and judgment as measured against specific Standards of Performance. Verification that the participant has met the program outcomes is partly obtained through a prior learning assessment process that involves the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of the learning acquired through formal and informal study. It will also allow the recognition and giving credit for skills, knowledge and competencies that have been acquired experientially through work experience, unrecognized education or training, self study, and volunteer activities. Individuals gain learning from the process. Students in the program can generally complete their training at an accelerated rate, and become a certified ECE within one to two years. Currently, a CBA program exists in Winnipeg and it has been successful in graduating qualified ECEs to support the growing ELCC system. As such, this original CBA program will be re-designed to focus on the training needs of rural and Northern communities, including new eligibility criteria and curriculum guidelines. This will also enable specialized focus on targeted communities such as Indigenous and French language. By expanding a new version of this training program to Rural and Northern communities, Manitoba aims to increase the number of qualified, certified and trained staff who will support more high-quality programming in these underserved regions and will strengthen the workforce to promote an increased long-term viability of rural facilities. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Develop a rural and Northern competency based assessment program – The current program will be re-designed to meet the training needs of rural and Northern communities including eligibility criteria and curriculum guidelines.
  • Contract with early learning and child care specialist/advisors – These subject matter experts will support the professional education and development of the sector workforce through facilitation and monitoring of completion of participant’s practicum, and provide formal recommendation of ECE certification.

Pilot a new model for group child care home providers

One of the significant challenges in the Rural and Northern areas of Manitoba is establishing formal child care in smaller or isolated communities. Often the needs in a community do not require an average-size centre, and smaller centres are often at risk of not being financially viable due to limited revenue options. Additionally, centres may not be flexible enough to meet the changing needs of a community as they require that a specified compliment of spaces be maintained for financial sustainability. As such, the size and function of a group child care home may be a more realistic and effective option to meet the needs of many rural and Northern communities. Under current provincial regulations, group child care homes can be licensed to provide care to more than eight and up to 12 children with minimally two licensees. However, there have been some examples of difficulties due to multiple licensees having shared liability when child care services are being offered out of one of the licensee’s home. This serves as a disincentive and makes licensing as a group child care home an unattractive option.

To alleviate this situation, federal funds will be used towards implementing a new pilot, where group child care homes will operate as a “hybrid” licensed child care facility by combining features of a group child care home and a child care centre. This will result in additional ELCC spaces being created, particularly in isolated communities where access to services is limited and these types of spaces are needed. Key features incorporated in the new hybrid facility will be a single licensee on a group child care home licence with the ability to hire additional staff as employees to meet staffing ratios in line with centres established in regulations. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Document and outline criteria of new hybrid family group child care provider – In line with the objectives and deliverables of this action plan, the new model of family group child care providers will have to meet all criteria required to achieve the new facility designation.
  • Increased operational funding for hybrid family group child care providers – Operational funding will be provided that is equitable to grant funding model provided to centres. Subsidized operational funding will be adjusted to support group child care home providers to hire qualified staff, to help ensure continued high quality programming for children. This initiative could result in 15 hybrid child care homes serving up to 240 children.
  • Policy and regulatory changes to support flexibility in changes to licenses – Policy and regulatory changes will be made to support flexibility for the type of spaces that can come under a group child care home licence with staffing ratios that are similar to a centre. With this, group child care homes under the pilot could be licensed for up to 16 preschool children, which could result in an increase in the overall available spaces in a community.

New block funding grant for rural and Northern centres

As mentioned, many licensed ELCC facilities in rural and Northern communities financially struggle to be viable due to high operational costs in these areas. To address this issue, the Manitoba government currently provides full operating grant funding to small (up to 40 spaces) centres in rural and Northern communities where space utilization fluctuates. In comparison, other larger centres receive operating grant funding that is pro-rated based on space utilization. However, larger centres are increasingly facing the same challenges as the smaller centres. Funding support is required to ensure that licensed ELCC services are broadly accessible to families living in the rural and Northern regions of Manitoba. With this, federal funding will be used to pilot an enhanced operating funding program, through a block funding grant of up to $2,000 per month for centres with more than 40 infant and preschool spaces to support the accessibility, flexibility and affordability of high quality ELCC spaces in rural/Northern communities. Identification of eligible centres will occur during required reviews of annually submitted audit reports on a year by year basis. Potential financial instability will be assessed based on the level of an accumulated deficit. The grant will then be added to the next annual operating budget. By providing this additional operating funding support, these facilities will be better able to hire and retain qualified staff and offer more flexible, high-quality, inclusive child care programming to better serve more-in-need communities. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Develop funding criteria for rural and Northern child care centres – The ELCC program will develop criteria to support the identification of centres that are financially at risk with over 40 licenced infant and preschool spaces in higher needs communities. This will quickly identify centres, which require immediate support to maintain operations and could potentially improve programming, health and safety requirements.
  • Provide an enhanced operational grant program - Additional specialized block funding provided up to $2,000 per month for centres with more than 40 infant and preschool spaces. Eligible centres will be identified through current business processes in place. This funding will help to offset high operational costs for rural/Northern communities, to ensure these licensed ELCC facilities can continue to offer highly demanded child care services for Manitoba families. For example, a facility may use the grant towards upgrading their infrastructure, improving nutrition for children, overall programming and other related operational costs.

Pillar 4: Diversity and Inclusion

Estimated total investment of Pillar 4 - $10.6M
Percentage of bilateral allocation – 23%

At any point in time, Manitoba’s ELCC sector is supporting up to 1000 children with additional support needs to be enrolled and participate in early learning and child care programming and activities. On an annual basis up to 1600 children are generally supported through funding to provide additional staffing. Approximately one third of ELCC facilities across the province receive inclusion support funding, which is mainly provided to facilitate hiring additional staff. Manitoba understands the importance of respecting and supporting licensed ELCC services that accommodate the diverse and complex additional support needs of children with varying abilities throughout the province. With this, Manitoba acknowledges the need to develop innovative and effective ways to be able to continue to address the growing complexity of needs of children with varying abilities as well as providing support to our province’s most vulnerable families and children. The current limited approach does not necessarily ensure inclusion and ensure challenges to participation in activities are mitigated. Federal funding will be targeted towards piloting a new service and funding approach to support children with additional needs and a new approach to support community organizations that offer supportive family services through two pilot initiatives: a new service and funding approach to support an inclusive environment for children with additional needs, and child care grants to community service organizations.

Pilot a transformative, dual stream service and funding approach

Currently, an Inclusion Support Program (ISP) is offered to support access to child care services for children with additional needs. The program provides financial support through staffing grants, which allow licenced ELCC facilities to hire additional staff to address the identified needs of a specific child. The intent of the program is to reduce or eliminate barriers faced by a child that prevents them from actively and meaningfully participating in programming, as well as interacting with other children. The current inclusion service approach does not properly address the diversity of children’s additional needs as it is a “one-size” fits all model based on the assumption that additional staff assigned to a child can meaningfully integrate the child into the opportunities offered by a facility. This approach does not necessarily promote inclusion as support is individualized and can actually prevent a child from full participation.

There are two primary groups of children with distinct needs currently receiving ISP staffing grants: children with a diagnosed disability, who have life-long challenges as their condition is permanent, requiring the coordination of supportive services, and children with emotional/behaviour needs, which impact their development and adaptive functioning but can overcome their challenges with responsive interventions, potentially resulting in progress where additional supports are no longer required.

To more effectively address the distinct needs of these two groups beyond the scope of additional staffing, federal funds will be allocated towards piloting a transformative, dual stream service and funding approach, resulting in higher quality care and better developmental outcomes for all children. In particular, Manitoba will create a new inclusion support team, which will work towards better coordinating multiple supportive resources for children with additional needs due to a diagnosed disability, through coordinated planning to support inclusion in early learning programming, resulting in children attaining the best possible outcomes. Currently, approximately 50% of the children receiving additional staffing supports have a diagnosed disability resulting in the family having to manage multiple service providers. This new service approach will ensure better coordination of multiple services to meet the more complex, life-long, support needs for these children to be included in a child care setting. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Create a new specialized inclusion support team – Staff will work towards better coordinating multiple supportive resources for children with additional needs through coordinated planning to allow service providers access to provide interventions in the child care setting. Children will receive an improved quality of care based on mitigating their specific challenges for inclusion with a coordinated plan that allows for cross training and learning from the service providers involved with the child and their family.
  • Identify and develop a range of interventions – The new service and funding approach will use an array of different interventions to better service children in partnership with other service providers. This may include specialized grants focused on equipment, room modifications, specialized training for facility staff and supporting other helping professionals to work with the child in the child care setting. These interventions may reduce or potentially eliminate the need for additional staffing required to facilitate inclusion.
  • Policy and regulatory changes to support more intervention options – Changes to policy to guide best practice for coordinated planning around children with higher needs will be made along with regulatory changes to issue specialized grant funding to meet needs through an option that promotes greater inclusion in early learning programming and activities. These changes will allow the flexibility needed to support the implementation of various intervention options.

Provide grants to community service organizations to hire full-time ECEs

Various community-based, non-profit organizations offer a wide range of supportive services for families working towards increasing self-sufficiency through services that support the path to re-entry in the labour market, including strengthening the family’s readiness to plan for training and employment. These services can range from literacy and job skill courses to parenting courses and supportive groups directed at re-introducing a level of stability when there has been some level of discourse. The prevention and intervention programs and services offered by these community organizations are offered to the most vulnerable families who are often facing multiple barriers such as poverty, addictions and long-term trauma. A challenge for these organizations and the families needing these services is child care, as it is often limited in nature and the level of need can change throughout a single year.

Federal funds will be targeted to implement a pilot project that will allocate grants to various community organizations to hire a full-time, trained ECE to provide a higher level early learning and care to children that are moving through a significant transition with their family. This initiative will allow parents to engage in service planning, therapy, counselling or participate in skills development courses, while children are receiving stable, on-site, consistent and high quality child care, at no cost to parents. This is critical for both the parent and child to begin building a level of security through a transitional phase. As a result, families will be able to re-establish a level of stability to make strides towards self-sufficiency, which will ensure that children most in need across our province have access to quality, child care programming to enhance their early development outcomes. Actions to achieve this objective include:

  • Establish a grant application process and supportive tools – The ELCC program will develop an application specific to the child care grant for community service organizations that will include eligibility criteria related to supportive family programming.
  • Provide grants to community organizations – Funds will be made available to these organizations to hire ECEs that will be able to provide a higher level of care to children that are moving through a significant transition with their family. This will allow the family to re-establish a level of stability to make strides towards self-sufficiency.

Pillar 5: Community Engagement and Public Reporting

Estimated total investment of Pillar 5 - $4.7M
Percentage of Bilateral Allocation – 10%

Engaging and consulting with ELCC stakeholders and community members at large is critical to ensuring that Manitoba’s bilateral initiatives are implemented successfully. As such, Manitoba will pilot a Minister’s Advisory Committee with members representing, but not limited to: parents, child care centre directors, family child care home providers, early childhood educators, sector advocacy organizations, Indigenous peoples, French language child care sector, and post-secondary institutions offering ECE diploma programs. Additional consultations with the ELCC sector, parents and other interested Manitobans will be conducted as needed throughout the year, to receive advice and feedback on the progress of the bilateral initiatives, allowing for modifications to meet the desired goals.

In addition to facilitating meaningful community engagement, Manitoba also understands the importance of being transparent and accountable with regard to outcomes of planned initiatives, in today’s society. As such, federal investments will be made to enhance Manitoba’s information technology systems and staffing to help meet the progress tracking and public reporting commitments of the bilateral action plan.

Financial summary
2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Total for three years
Pillar 1: Supporting new and newly-funded, affordable and accessible spaces $6,142,972 $13,261,449 $8,679,834 $28,084,255
Pillar 2: Building sector capacity and stability $706,502 $285,781 $243,173 $1,235,456
Pillar 3: Rural and northern strategy $352,662 $827,987 $1,011,981 $2,192,630
Pillar 4: Diversity and Inclusion $200,000 $5,223,000 $5,223,000 $10,646,000
Pillar 5: Community engagement and public reporting $408,500 $2,261,000 $2,012,499 $4,681,999
Grand Total $7,810,636 $21,859,217 $17,170,487 $46,840,340

*Note: Federal funding included in the chart above will not displace provincial ELCC funding

Bilateral Agreement reporting
Pillars Outputs Indicators Targets Principle Baseline Data Annual report
Y1 Y2 Y3

Pillar 1: New and newly-subsidized, affordable and accessible spaces

New and newly subsidized spaces through pilot enhanced capital funding approach 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 (i.e: French language, low-income, low coverage, Indigenous, Rural/ Northern)
Up to 750 new and newly subsidized ELCC spaces 6% of 13,230 children aged 6 and under waiting for an ELCC space Accessible, affordable and flexible

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Subsidies for new expansion spaces Number of children in subsidized spaces Up to 650 newly subsidized ELCC Spaces

5% of 13,230 children aged 6 and under waiting for an ELCC space
Yes Yes Yes Yes

Pillar 2: Building sector capacity and stability

Early childhood development education and information portal Number of ELCC sector stakeholders accessing the portal for information/ professional development Up to 1,000 ELCC sector users accessing portal

High quality

 

No TBD Yes Yes
Core professional development training pilot ensuring inclusive programming Number of facilitators trained in attachment and equipped to train the ELCC workforce Up to 100 facilitators trained No TBD Yes Yes
Core professional development training pilot ensuring inclusive programming Number of providers adopting innovative, new, inclusive programming tools Up to 100 providers trained No TBD Yes Yes
New online board governance training province-wide Number of licensed ELCC facilities participating in board governance training Board members of up to 100 ELCC facilities participating

25% of 390 non-profit centre boards will participate in training
No TBD Yes Yes
Pilot mentorship program for home-based providers in harder-to-serve communities Number of ELCC providers participating in mentorship program Up to 25 home-based providers participating (mentees) and up to 15 mentors No TBD Yes Yes
Pillar 3: Rural and Northern strategy Pilot Competency-Based Assessment programs in rural and Northern communities Number and proportion of providers with Early Childhood Education certification residing in rural and Northern communities Up to 20 newly certified rural/Northern Early Childhood Educators

33% of 60 Rural/Northern ELCC facilities meeting the required proportion of trained staff
High quality No TBD Yes Yes
Pilot “hybrid” model for group child care home providers Number of flexible ELCC arrangements for harder-to-serve populations of children Up to 15 “hybrid” group child care homes serving up to 240 children

33% increase in child care spaces for families to access
Accessible, affordable and flexible Yes TBD Yes Yes
New block funding grant for rural and Northern ELCC facilities Number of flexible ELCC arrangements for children from diverse and harder-to-serve populations Up to 15 centres benefitting from block grant funding

Up to 780 children served
Accessible, affordable and flexible No TBD Yes Yes

Pillar 4: Diversity and Inclusion

Pilot service approach and funding stream for children with additional needs Number of children with additional support needs enrolled in ELCC programs Up to 700 children Inclusion Yes TBD Yes Yes
Grant to community organizations offering supportive family services to hire ECE Number of grants provided

Number of vulnerable children served
Up to 8 grants for ECEs Accessible, affordable and flexible No TBD Yes Yes
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