Canada-New Brunswick Early Learning and Child Care Agreement – 2020-2021
On this page
- Vision for Early Learning and Child Care
- Early Learning and Child Care objectives and areas of investment
- Period of agreement
- Financial provisions
- Long-term collaboration
- Dispute resolution
- Equality of treatment
- Amendments to the agreement
- Annex 1: Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework
- Annex 2: New Brunswick’s updated action plan for 2020-2021
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”)
Her Majesty the Queen in right of the province of New Brunswick (hereinafter referred to as “New Brunswick” or “Government of New Brunswick”) as represented by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development (herein referred to as “the provincial Minister”)
Referred to collectively as the “Parties”
Whereas, Canada and New Brunswick agreed to a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework (ELCC) 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 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 Early Childhood Services Act and Order in Council 2010-513 authorizes the provincial Minister to enter in agreements with the Government of Canada under which Canada undertakes to provide funding toward costs incurred by the Government of New Brunswick 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 and the Métis National Council jointly released the co-developed Indigenous ELCC Framework in September 2018. This Framework establishes overarching principles and sets a vision for happy and safe Indigenous children and families, strong cultural identity, and a comprehensive and coordinated system that is anchored in self-determination, centered on children and grounded in culture. The Indigenous ELCC Framework can be used as a guide for all actors involved in Indigenous ELCC;
Whereas, New Brunswick supports licensing of early learning and child care facilities and provides early learning and child care services for New Brunswick children, including Indigenous children accessing services off-reserve; and
Whereas, Canada and New Brunswick will continue to work together towards a renewed Canada-New Brunswick Early Learning and Child Care Agreement by way of this new Canada-New Brunswick Agreement which serves as a renewal, amendment and continuation of the original 2017 Agreement which was executed by the Parties.
Now therefore, Canada and New Brunswick agree as follows:
1.0 Vision for Early Learning and Child Care
1.1 Canada and New Brunswick agree that the long term vision, principles and objectives for early learning and child care, which are set out in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework (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
2.1.1 Canada and New Brunswick agree that over the period of this Agreement, with financial support from Canada, New Brunswick will further build its early learning and child care system by addressing local, regional and system priorities that have an impact on families more in need by increasing the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in early learning and child care, towards achieving the objectives of:
- facilitate equitable and affordable access to high quality early learning and child care services by removing barriers linked to family income, children’s ability and needs, language in minority settings, and ensuring that new spaces are created in the areas of greatest need
- increasing the quality of early learning and child care services for children and their families by strengthening and sustaining a highly competent and engaged workforce and modeling/sharing best practices
New Brunswick’s policy towards early learning and child care and approach to achieving these objectives is set out in their Action Plan attached as an annex (Annex 2)
2.2 Eligible areas of investment
2.2.1 New Brunswick agrees to prioritize funds provided by Canada under this Agreement in regulated early learning and child care programs and services, as per New Brunswick’s areas of responsibility, for children under the age of six where:
- regulated programs and services are defined as those that meet standards that are established and/or monitored by provincial/territorial governments
- early learning and child care programs and services are defined as those supporting direct care and early learning for children in settings including, but not limited to, regulated child care centres, regulated family child care homes, early learning centres, preschools and nursery schools
2.2.2 In developing and delivering its early learning and child care programs and services, New Brunswick agrees to take into account the needs of official language minority communities in New Brunswick.
2.2.3 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, parents information and referral, and administration costs incurred by New Brunswick in implementing and administering this Agreement.
2.2.4 Canada and New Brunswick 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.
2.2.5 Canada and New Brunswick agree that funding will be targeted toward programs and activities, as described above, for children under the age of six, 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; as well as families with children with varying abilities. Needs also include having limited or no access to early learning and child care programs and services in the children’s official language.
3.0 Period of agreement
3.1 The original 2017 Agreement came into effect upon the last signature being affixed and remained in effect until March 31, 2020, unless terminated in writing by Canada or New Brunswick in accordance with the terms hereof in section 11.
3.2 It is now the intention of the Parties that funding provided under the amendments to extend this Agreement, in accordance with section 4, will cover the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
3.3 The Parties also consent and agree that amendments made to renew the 2017 Agreement have been incorporated in this new Agreement and these 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 New Brunswick 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.
3.4 Renewal of Bilateral Agreements
3.4.1 Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2021-2022 to 2027 28 will be no less than the annual allocation of this current agreement. Funding for future years will be provided upon the renewal of bilateral agreements conditional on Canada’s acceptance of new action plans and informed by the assessment of the results achieved under the action plan set out in Annex 2.
3.4.2 In the event this bilateral agreement is renewed in accordance with the terms of section 3.2.1, New Brunswick 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.
3.4.3 The renewal will provide New Brunswick and Canada the opportunity to review and course correct, if required, and realign new priorities in future bilateral agreements based on progress made to date.
4. Financial provisions
4.1 These contributions are in addition and not in lieu of those that Canada currently pays to New Brunswick through the Canada Social Transfer in order to support early childhood development and early learning and child care within New Brunswick.
4.2 Allocation to New Brunswick
4.2.1 Canada has designated the following maximum amount to be transferred in total to all provinces and territories under this initiative with a fixed base rate of $2 million per year for each province and territory and the balance of the funding on a per capita basis for the period starting on April 1, 2017 and ending on March 31, 2021.
- $399,669,692 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2017
- $399,347,695 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2018
- $399,347,695 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2019
- $399,347,694 for the Fiscal Year beginning on April 1, 2020
4.2.2 Subject to annual adjustment based on the formula described in section 4.2.3, New Brunswick’s estimated share of the amounts described in section 4.2.1 will be:
|Fiscal Year||Estimated amount to be paid to New Brunswicka
(subject to annual adjustment)
aAmount represents annual estimates based on Statistics Canada population estimates
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 out in section 3.4.1.
4.2.3 The final yearly amount to be paid to New Brunswick will be calculated using the following formula F × 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 New Brunswick, as determined using annual population estimates from Statistics Canada
L is the total population of Canada, as determined using annual population estimates from Statistics Canada
4.2.4 For the purposes of the formula in section 4.2.3, the population of New Brunswick 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.
4.4.1 Canada’s contribution will be paid in approximately equal semiannual installments as follows:
The first installment will be paid on or about June 15 of each fiscal year. The second installment will be paid on or about November 15 of each fiscal year.
The amount of the first installment will be an amount equal to fifty percent (50%) of the notional amount of Canada’s maximum contribution to New Brunswick for the Fiscal Year, which will be calculated in the manner described in sections 4.2.3 and 4.2.4.
In 2020-21, the first installment will be paid within thirty (30) days after the signatures from both Parties are affixed to this Agreement.
The amount of the second installment will be an amount equal to the balance of Canada’s contribution to New Brunswick for the Fiscal Year based on the actual amount of the contribution determined under sections 4.2.3 and 4.2.4 for the Fiscal Year.
Canada will notify New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick of the actual amount of the second installment in each Fiscal Year as determined under the formula set out in section 4.2.3 as soon as possible following the release in September of each year of the Statistics Canada quarterly preliminary population estimates referred to in section 4.2.4.
Canada shall withhold payment of its second installment for the Fiscal Year if New Brunswick 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.
The sum of both semi-annual installments constitutes a final payment and is not subject to any further adjustment once the second installment of that Fiscal Year has been paid.
Payment of Canada’s funding for each Fiscal Year of this Agreement is subject to an annual appropriation by the Parliament of Canada for this purpose.
4.5 Maximum annual contribution in respect of administration costs
4.5.1 Canada’s contribution in respect of New Brunswick’s administration costs referred to in section 2.2.3 shall not exceed:
In Fiscal Year 2017-2018 an amount equal to 10% of the maximum amount payable and for the Fiscal Years 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 an amount equal to 5% of the maximum amount payable.
4.6 Carry Forward
4.6.1 At the request of New Brunswick and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, New Brunswick may retain and carry forward to March 31, 2019, an amount of up to 50% of the contribution paid to New Brunswick for 2017-2018 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by New Brunswick 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 section 4.6.1 is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to New Brunswick under section 4.2.3 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. New Brunswick 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 4.2.3 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 New Brunswick and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, New Brunswick may retain and carry forward to March 31, 2020, an amount of up to 10% of the contribution paid to New Brunswick for 2018-2019 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, New Brunswick may retain and carry forward to Fiscal Year 2020-2021, an amount of up to 10% of the contribution paid to New Brunswick for 2019-2020 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by New Brunswick 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 section 4.6.4 is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to New Brunswick under section 4.2.3 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. New Brunswick 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 4.2.3 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 In the event payments made to New Brunswick exceed the amount to which New Brunswick is entitled under this Agreement, the amount of the excess is a debt due to Canada and shall be repaid to Canada upon receipt of notice to do so and within the period specified in the notice.
4.8 Use of funds
4.8.1 Canada and New Brunswick agree that funds provided under this Agreement will only be used by New Brunswick in accordance with the areas for investment outlined in section 2.2 of this Agreement.
4.8.2 Canada and New Brunswick agree that, within each Fiscal Year of the period of this Agreement, New Brunswick may move funding between the individual programming categories outlined in its Action Plan in Annex 2 to ensure the maximum use of funding. New Brunswick agrees to notify Canada in writing of any such change in funding allocation, including the rationale for the change.
5.1 Action Plan
5.1.1 New Brunswick has completed and shared its Action Plan for the years 2017-2018 – 2019-2020 of federal funding with Canada as set out in the Canada-New Brunswick Early Learning and Child Care Agreement 2017-2020. Upon signature of this Agreement by both Parties, New Brunswick will publicly release their Action Plan which:
- identifies specific priority areas for investment and objectives, within the Framework’s parameters, which builds upon the progress to date in the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and/or inclusivity of their early learning and child care system, with consideration for those more in need
- describes how New Brunswick plans to address the early learning and child care needs of its children/families more in need, including families that have limited access to programs and services in their official language
- outlines their planned innovation spending
- demonstrates that federal investments will be incremental, and will not displace existing New Brunswick early learning and child care spending, in particular spending dedicated to Indigenous populations
- outlines the indicators that will be reported on annually according to their planned investments
- identifies specific targets for each indicator that will be reported on annually for tracking progress in relation to the objectives of this Agreement
- identifies additional jurisdiction-specific indicators for tracking progress in relation to the objectives of this Agreement; and
- a description of consultation processes referred to in section 5.1.2, the type of groups consulted and annual priorities related to stakeholder feedback
5.1.2 New Brunswick will consult with parents, child care providers, experts, Indigenous peoples, official language minority communities and other interested Canadians as an important step in developing and revising its Action Plan.
5.1.3 New Brunswick 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.
5.2.1 By no later than October 1 of each Fiscal Year during the Period of this Agreement, New Brunswick agrees to:
- report to the people of New Brunswick 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
- 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
- provide to Canada an Annual Report in the format and manner decided jointly by Canada and New Brunswick. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Agreement and shall include:
- brief description of the activities, expenditures and results of the Canada-New Brunswick Early Learning and Child Care Agreement as set out in Annex 2
- results achieved according to the indicators and targets referred to in Annex 2
- 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
- results achieved on innovation referred to in Annex 2
- description of consultation processes, the type of groups consulted and annual priorities related to stakeholder feedback referred to in Annex 2; and
- any additional results of evaluation activities undertaken in the Fiscal Year, as available
- provide to Canada an audited financial statement of revenues received from Canada under this Agreement during the Fiscal Year:
- the revenue section of the statement shall show the amount received from Canada under this Agreement during the Fiscal Year
- the total amount of funding used for early learning and child care programs and services under section 2.2
- the administration costs incurred by New Brunswick in developing and administering early learning and child care programs under section 2.2.3; and
- if applicable, the amount of any surplus funds that are to be repaid to Canada under section 4.6
- The financial statement shall be prepared in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and the audit shall be performed by the New Brunswick Auditor General or his/her delegate, or by an independent public accounting firm registered under the laws of New Brunswick and shall be conducted in accordance with Canadian Generally Accepted Auditing Standards.
5.2.2 Canada, with prior notice to New Brunswick, 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
5.3.1 New Brunswick will ensure that expenditure information presented in the annual report is, in accordance with New Brunswick’s standard accounting practices, complete and accurate.
5.4.1 As per established policies and processes with respect to program effectiveness, New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick agree to share and release data as available, and knowledge, research and information on effective and innovative practices in early learning and child care, to further support the development of and reporting on quality and outcomes. Canada and New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick agree to work together to improve data collection and dissemination on key early learning and child care information for children under age six.
7.1 Canada and New Brunswick 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 Each government will receive the appropriate credit and visibility when investments financed through funds granted under this Agreement are announced to the public.
7.3 Canada agrees to give New Brunswick ten (10) days advance notice of public communications related to the Framework, bilateral agreements, and results of the investments of this Agreement.
7.4 New Brunswick agrees to give Canada ten (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 Canada reserves the right to conduct public communications, announcements, events, outreach and promotional activities about the Framework and bilateral agreements.
8.0 Dispute resolution
8.1 Canada and New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick, as the case may be, may notify the other party in writing of the failure or breach. Upon such notice, Canada and New Brunswick will endeavour 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 New Brunswick most responsible for early learning and child care, and if it cannot be resolved by them, then the federal Minister and the provincial Minister shall endeavour to resolve the dispute.
9.0 Equality of treatment
9.1 During the term of this Agreement, if another province or territory, except the province of Quebec, which is not part of the 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 New Brunswick, any provision of that agreement or amended agreement is more favourable 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 New Brunswick, if requested by New Brunswick. 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.
9.2 Canada will make publicly available up-to-date Early Learning and Child Care agreements entered into with all provinces and territories, including any amendments, by posting them on a Government of Canada website.
10.0 Amendments to the agreement
10.1 This Agreement, including all attached annexes, except Annex 1, may be amended at any time by mutual consent of the Parties. To be valid, any amendments shall be in writing and signed, in the case of Canada, by the federal Minister, and in the case of New Brunswick, by the provincial Minister.
11.1 Canada may terminate this Agreement at any time if the terms of this Agreement are not respected by New Brunswick by giving at least six (6) months written notice of its intention to terminate. New Brunswick may terminate this Agreement at any time if the terms of this Agreement are not respected by Canada by giving at least six (6) months written notice of its intention to terminate.
11.2 After the effective date of termination of this Agreement under section 11.1, Canada shall have no obligation to make any further payments to New Brunswick.
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 New Brunswick shall be:
Province of New Brunswick
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
250 King Street
Fredericton NB E3B 5H1
To the attention of:
Executive Director for Early Childhood Development
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 attached as an annex (Annex 1), concluded on June 12, 2017.
13.3 This Agreement shall be interpreted according to the laws of Canada and New Brunswick.
13.4 No member of the House of Commons or of the Senate of Canada or of the Legislature of New Brunswick 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 The English and French versions of this Agreement, when signed, are equally authoritative.
13.7 Each of the Parties states that the Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement entered into by the Parties in relation to any provision contained in the Agreement or discussed beforehand about the aforesaid services; it replaces all promises, assertions, and covenants pertaining thereto and it takes precedence over any previous contract, agreement or verbal or written exchange concerning the object of these presents. No other agreement, statement, guarantee, whether oral or written shall be deemed enforceable between the Parties with regard to the object of these presents.
In witness whereof the Parties hereunto have caused this Agreement to be executed by their respective duly authorized representatives.
Signed on behalf of Canada by the Minister of Employment and Social Development styled as the Minister of Families Children and Social Development Gatineau this 17th day of August, 2020.
[Signed by] The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social DevelopmentSigned on behalf of New Brunswick by the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development at Fredericton this 19th day of August, 2020.
[Signed by] The Honourable Dominic Cardy, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
Annex 1: Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework
Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers most responsible for Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) agree on the importance of supporting parents, families and communities in their efforts to ensure the best possible future for their children. For more details on this agreement, please consult the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework.
Annex 2: New Brunswick’s updated action plan for 2020-2021
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Brunswick’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.
New Brunswick’s Early Learning and Child Care plan
The 2017-2020 Everyone at their best…from the start: Early Learning and Childcare Action Plan provided the foundation to transform the early learning and childcare sector through robust public policy, ensuring families have an increased access to quality, affordable childcare. The resounding success of the new designation of New Brunswick Early Learning Centres and Homes has reinforced the desire for improving the quality of care while building on New Brunswick’s world-class early learning and care curriculums.
The Province’s Action Plan for the 2020-2021 Canada-New Brunswick Agreement mainly focusses on maintaining the success of the 2017-2020 strategic plan that transformed its early learning and childcare system, and making quality, affordable early learning and childcare accessible to all New Brunswick families.
The 2020-2021 Action Plan aims at maintaining the success of the past three years and solidifying the vision that by 2030, New Brunswick’s early learning and childcare system will be transformed to offer higher quality services that are universally accessible and affordable to all families and children through a robust public policy framework.
During the world-wide pandemic, New Brunswick will monitor the impact of COVID-19 on the viability of the early learning and childcare sector. Access to affordable, quality childcare is a cornerstone for economic recovery and for gender equality. While the province is cautiously optimistic with the controls put in place to ensure a flat curve, the future remains uncertain. The sustainability of this sector is critical to the social and economic infrastructure of the province.
As per New Brunswick's particularity in respect of the two linguistic communities, all initiatives and objectives targeted by the Action Plan thus meet the needs of the Francophone minority community and the Anglophone community.
New Brunswick will continue discussions with First Nations communities and will work to promote services to First Nations communities. As part of initiatives, First Nations families accessing New Brunswick Early Learning Centres and Homes may benefit from access to higher quality and affordable early learning and childcare services.
Achievements in Early Learning and Child Care in New Brunswick 2017-2020
Over the last three years, the transformation of New Brunswick’s early learning and child care sector has been a resounding success. The key to this success resides in the comprehensive approach in addressing access, affordability and quality by creating a new model for service delivery. Notwithstanding the high percentage of licenced facilities that have opted into the new program, the most significant success is the increased collaboration between the sector and government. The agile process in building new programs and services through consultation has become the new way of business.
The conceptualization of the 2017-2020 Action Plan objectives was realized through two main initiatives: the designation of New Brunswick Early Learning Centres and the Centres of Excellence in Preschool Education. The objectives of these initiatives are to promote accessibility, affordability and improved quality of service.
To become designated, New Brunswick Early Learning Centre (NBELC) and Home must enter in an Agreement with the government of New Brunswick (GNB). New Brunswick has established agreements with all of its designated centres and homes to ensure that centres meet the objectives of the 2017-2020 Action Plan by following specific actions. This is a summary of the elements of the Agreement:
- implement the Low Fee Policy in its entirety, including requirements for Operational grants, Parent Subsidy and Market fee threshold
- choose and implement on of the prescribed curriculum framework and deliver services only in the language of the curriculum framework chosen and ensure that staff is trained
- francophone NBELC must implement guidelines to ensure strong language and cultural identity in the early learning environments that will come in effect in 2020
- implement an inclusion policy and inclusive practices to improve capacity to serve all children, including those with disabilities and diversity needs, by the end on first year of designation
- participate in quality improvement initiatives, assessments and reviews and completion of Quality annual improvement Plans
- establish a parent committee to encourage parent engagement in early learning within the first year of designation
- participate in the communities of practices and ensure participation of educators in on-going professional development
- use the Provincial Childcare registry; and
- must provide to the Department, information, data and updates, as required, for the Designation
Designated facilities must implement all the measures as described in the eight objectives of the 2017-2020 Action Plan. The graphic below demonstrates how all the objectives are integral components of the designation of New Brunswick Early Learning Centres and Homes.
Figure 1: New Brunswick Early Learning and Child Care Action Plan – Everyone at their best… from the start
New Brunswick was successful in implementing all of the original eight objectives during the first three years of the agreement. Maintaining the goals of these eight objectives will remain a priority for the province.
Summary of the outcomes achieved as a result of federal and provincial investments and continuity of initiatives in 2020-2021:
Actions and targets
|Objective #1 – Establish New Brunswick Early Learning Centres (NBELC)||
|Objective #2 – Establish Parent Advisory Boards||
|Objective #3 – Develop online resources for parents (for example, Child Care Registry)||
|Objective #4 – Establish Centres of Excellence in Early Learning||
|Objective #5 –Implement online learning for early childhood educators||
|Objective #6 – Implement an Inclusion Policy||
|Objective #7 – Develop guidelines for language acquisition and cultural identity learning environments.||
|Objective #8 – Introduce requirements for Quality Improvement Plans for all early learning and child care facilities||
Our vision is to build an early learning and child care system of high quality that families can rely on and where every child receives appropriate services enabling them to reach their full potential.
Federal Action Plan 2020-2021 - Initiative 1: Maintain New Brunswick Early Learning Centres - Designation
(Objective #1 – Establish New Brunswick Early Learning Centres (NBELC); Objective #2 – Establish Parent Advisory Boards; Objective #3 – Develop online resources for parents (for example, Child Care Registry); Objective #6 – Implement an Inclusion Policy; Objective #7 – Develop guidelines for language acquisition and cultural identity learning environments.; Objective #8 – Introduce requirements for Annual Quality Improvement Plans for all early learning and child care facilities)
On March 16, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the continuation of the gains made in recent years in the educational childcare sector. In response to the pandemic, New Brunswick instituted Emergency Early Learning and Childcare Facilities to support essential workers. More than 90 early learning and childcare facilities voluntarily opened their doors to support these families beginning on March 17, 2020. On May 19, 2020, the government allowed the reopening of licensed facilities under strict Public Health guidance. The province is monitoring the situation closely.
As part of this Action Plan, the 2020-2021 target for New Brunswick is to ensure the viability of the sector, maintain what has been achieved and to continue efforts to improve accessibility and quality.
The New Brunswick Early Learning Centres and Homes designation is serving as a model of higher quality early learning and child care. The established criteria will remain to ensure families have greater access to high quality and affordable early learning and child care. The goal for 2017-2020 was that 75% of the Early Learning and Childcare facilities would become Designated Centres. However, this target has been exceeded by more than 11%, which requires more financial support in order to improve services and meet all designation requirements.
As a result of this success, more parents have also benefited from the enhanced parent subsidy to support more vulnerable families so that their children can access quality services and they can contribute to the provincial workforce.
Low Fee Policy – Maintain the low fee policy established in the Action Plan 2017-2020. There is four components to this policy:
- infant operating grant: NBELC are receiving on-going Infant Operating Grant that is designed to offset the costs of providing infant care
- operational grant: These grants enable designated Centres and Homes to invest in quality learning environments, better inclusive practices and increase accessibility for infant spaces. Designated Centres and Homes are required to submit an annual quality improvement plan to identify improvement and training targets for their staff
- parent subsidy: The subsidy for children attending a NBELC ensures affordable childcare to New Brunswick families including First Nations families. The New Brunswick Early Learning Centre Parent Subsidy results in two outcomes:
- no family in New Brunswick will pay more than 20% of their gross annual family income to cover child care costs. This increase supports for families with multiple children under five years of age
- free daycare for preschool aged children for families with a gross annual income under $37,500 attending a New Brunswick Early Learning Centre
- Market Fee Threshold: Range of fees provided by designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centres. It is based on the average fee currently charged to parents for infants and preschool aged children under the age of five in three different sizes of communities: large urban, small urban and rural
Federal Action Plan 2020-2021 - Initiative 2: Offer professional development to early childhood educators
(Objective #4 – Establish Centres of Excellence in Early Learning - Professional Development; Objective #5 – Implement professional learning and development opportunities for early childhood educators)
Several resources, workshops, online training and guidelines for professional development and quality assessment were created in the first phase of the 2017-2020 Action Plan under the Centre of Excellence initiative. These resources will be rolled out through communities of practice with the aim to improve the quality of educational activities offered to children.
Provide professional development workshops for administrators and educators – Offer regional workshops to strengthen skills and knowledge of high-quality pedagogical practices including inclusion, quality environment, language acquisition and cultural identity learning environments.
Federal contribution and proposed allocations
The federal contribution will be allocated in this one-year agreement extension to the following priorities:
|Initiative 1: Maintain New Brunswick Early Learning Centres - Designation||$9,229,892.88|
|Administrative costs (personnel, reporting, evaluation, etc.)||$485,783.84|
10% Carry forward - 2019-2020
Initiative 2: Offer Professional Development to Early Childhood Educators
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