Canada – Quebec Early Learning and Child Care Agreement - 2017-2020

Official title: Implementation Agreement of the March 10, 2017, Asymmetrical Agreement – Early Learning and Child Care Component

On this page


The Government of Canada, represented by the Minister of Employment and Social Development (hereinafter referred to as "Canada")


The Government of Quebec, represented by the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Families, and the Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie (hereinafter referred to as "Quebec")


Whereas the Department of Employment and Social Development Act authorizes the federal Minister to enter into Agreement s 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 Government of Canada has established an early learning and child care framework with the provinces and territories, with the exception of Quebec;

Whereas the field of early learning and child care is under the exclusive jurisdiction of Quebec and Canada recognizes that the allocation of its funding must respect and be in keeping with this exclusive jurisdiction;

Whereas under the asymmetrical Agreement between Canada and Quebec on health care funding of March 10, 2017, Quebec expects to receive approximately $1.2 billion for the 2017 to 2018 and 2027 to 2028 periods. This amount, which will vary according to population projections, will come from the social infrastructure child care component under the Federal Infrastructure Plan, and that Quebec would use this amount to fund its priorities with respect to direct services to families;

Whereas Quebec has its own early learning and child care system since 1997, which has been fully funded, and will continue to provide early childhood services to its population including the English speaking community;

Whereas in November 2017, the Quebec government created the Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers whose mandate is to ensure that the concerns of English-speaking Quebecers are taken into consideration in the development of government policy direction and decisions, and in matters of access to government programs and their application;

Whereas Canada, in close collaboration with Indigenous peoples, is developing a separate framework on Indigenous early learning and child care;

Whereas Quebec's child care program is available on Indigenous reserves.

1. Definition

The following expression used in this Agreement will have the scope defined below:

"Agreement" means the Implementation Agreement of the March 10, 2017, Asymmetrical Agreement – Early Learning and Child Care Component.

"Fiscal year" means the period commencing on April 1 of any calendar year and terminating on March 31 of the immediately following calendar year.

2. Period of Agreement

The Agreement will take effect upon the last signature being affixed and will remain in effect until March 31, 2020.

The Parties agree that for the period subsequent to that covered by this Agreement, the Agreement will be renewed under similar conditions and with the same funding formula until 2027 to 2028 if provincial funding and child care services are minimally maintained at the 2017 to 2018 levels. The proposed funding for the period subsequent to this Agreement and until 2027 to 2028 is presented in Annex 2.

3. Contribution

Canada has designated the following maximum amounts 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, 2020:

  • $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

The final annual amount to be paid to Quebec will be calculated by multiplying the total amount of federal funding paid for that fiscal year as listed above (minus the fixed base rate of $2 million for each province and territory) by the quotient obtained by dividing the population of Quebec during that fiscal year by the total population of all the provinces and territories during that fiscal year, to which the fixed base rate of $2 million will be added. For the purposes of this calculation, the population for a fiscal year will be determined on the basis of official estimates produced by Statistics Canada on July 1 of that fiscal year, which are published in September of the same fiscal year. The final annual amount will be determined by Canada and communicated to Quebec on or about October 15 of each fiscal year.

For the 2020 to 2021 and the 2027 to 2028 periods, the funding will be available using the same calculation method, and the estimated annual amounts are presented in Annex 2.

4. Payment of the contribution

Subject to the annual adjustment based on the formula described in Section 3, the estimated amount of the contribution to be paid by Canada to Quebec will be:

Fiscal year Estimated amount of Canada's contribution to Quebec*
2017 to 2018 $87,447,014
2018 to 2019 $87,373,383
2019 to 2020 $87,373,383

*Levels indicated for information purposes for 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 and based on July 2017 population projections.

The total payment for the 2017 to 2018 fiscal year will be paid within 30 days following the date that both parties' signatures are affixed to this Agreement.

In 2018 to 2019 and in 2019 to 2020, the first payment will be made no later than June 15 of each fiscal year, and the second payment will be made no later than November 15 of each fiscal year. The sum of the two 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.

All payments made by Canada under this Agreement are subject to an annual appropriation by the Parliament of Canada for the fiscal year during which the payment must be made.

Quebec shall reimburse Canada for any amounts paid that exceed the amount to which it is entitled under this Agreement. Such a debt is a debt due to Canada and must be repaid quickly after the receipt of a written notice of a claim for repayment.

5. Use of contribution funding

As Quebec has been funding its own early learning and child care system of centres de la petite enfance since 1997, Quebec will use the contributions paid under this Agreement to fund additional direct services for families, including those provided as examples by Quebec in Annex 1.

6. Reporting

Quebec will provide Canada with public reports about its educational child care system that comply with Quebec accounting practices and are supplied to non-governmental organizations and the public. These reports include objectives and indicators produced by Quebec and are associated with Quebec's educational child care system. Quebec agrees to allow Canada to distribute them and make them available to other provincial and territorial governments.

For a number of years, Quebec has been sharing its information, expertise and best practices with respect to early childhood development, including early learning and child care, with other governments in Canada and it intends to continue this practice, which will contribute to the development of comparable indicators.

7. Dispute resolution

Canada and Quebec 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.

Should a dispute between the Parties arise with respect to the interpretation and/or implementation of any of the terms of this Agreement, either Party may notify the other, in writing, of its concerns. Upon receipt of such notice, Canada and Quebec will endeavour to resolve the issue in dispute in a manner that is deemed appropriate by the designated officials.

In the event a dispute cannot be resolved by the designated officials, the issue may be referred, in the first instance, to the federal Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Development and the Quebec Deputy Minister of Families and, in the second instance, to the federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and the Quebec Minister of Families.

8. Amendments to the Agreement

This Agreement may be amended at any time if the Parties mutually agree to do so in writing. Any amendments will enter into effect on the date agreed by the Parties. Neither Canada nor Quebec may terminate this Agreement unless it is demonstrated that the Agreement is not being honoured by the other Party. That Party must provide the other Party with at least 12 months' written notice of its intention to terminate the Agreement.

9. General

This Agreement constitutes the entire Agreement between the Parties with respect to the subject matter of this Agreement.

This Agreement shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws in force in Quebec.

Canada will make public the entire Agreement by posting it on the Government of Canada website.

No member of the House of Commons or the Senate of Canada or of the National Assembly of Quebec shall be admitted to any share or part of any contract, Agreement or commission made pursuant to this Agreement, or to any benefit arising therefrom.

If for any reason a provision of this Agreement that is not a fundamental term is found to be 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.

10. Notice

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 be deemed to have been received on delivery and, except in periods of postal disruption, any notice mailed will be deemed to have been received eight (8) calendar days after being mailed.

The address for notice or communication to Canada shall be:

140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Quebec
K1A 0J9

The address for notice or communication to Quebec shall be:

Sous-ministre adjoint
Ministère de la Famille
425 Jacques Parizeau Street
Quebec City, Quebec
G1R 4Z1


Signed on behalf of Canada by the Minister of Employment and Social Development at Gatineau this 29th day of March, 2018.

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

Signed on behalf of Québec by the Minister of Finance at Quebec this 28th day of March, 2018.

The Honourable Carlos Leitão, Minister of Finance

Signed on behalf of Québec by the Minister of Families at Quebec this 28th day of March, 2018.

The Honourable Luc Fortin, Minister of Families

Signed on behalf of Québec by the Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie at Quebec this 28th day of March, 2018.

The Honourable Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister responsible for Canadian Relations and the Canadian Francophonie

Annex 1: Examples of direct services to families

$2.3 billion for educational child care services in 2017 to 2018

As of December 31, 2017, nearly 300,000 licensed spaces are offered by educational daycare centres, nearly 233,000 of which are subsidized.

In this regard, the annual budget for the educational day care services fund for 2017 to 2018 is $2.3 billion (up 3% over 2016 to 2017).

Creation of 5,800 new child care spaces

To strengthen the educational child care system, Quebec has committed to creating 5,800 subsidized spaces across Quebec, including:

  • moving forward with the creation of 3,800 new spaces for 92 previously identified projects, along with:
    • a lowering of the contribution from the child care centres (CPEs) toward the financing of their infrastructure, from 50% to 25%, and in some cases a complete exemption;
  • a call for tenders for 2,000 spaces between now and June 2018 for CPEs (85%) and subsidized child care (15%), for:
    • 1,400 spaces in regions facing a shortage of spaces;
    • 200 spaces in disadvantaged communities;
    • 400 spaces allocated on the recommendation of advisory committees.

The "Tout pour nos enfants" [Everything for our Children] Strategy

Early childhood intervention has an important impact on children's educational success when they start school and as they continue their studies. In this regard, the Stratégie relative aux services éducatifs offerts aux enfants de 0 à 8 ans – Tout pour nos enfants [Strategy on educational services offered to children 0 to 8 – Everything for our Children] gives parents tools, fosters a harmonious transition to preschool and supports children's educational success.

More specifically, these investments will make it possible to:

  • enhance exceptional integration support measures in early learning and child care services for children with significant needs;
  • increase specific allowances to coordinating offices for projects aimed at improving the educational quality of home-based educational daycare centres;
  • increase the funding provided to family community organizations and community drop-in daycares in order to enhance their capacity to support parents with a greater need for support so they can play a role in the overall development and educational success of their children;
  • finance the development or redevelopment of outdoor playgrounds at child care centres;
  • provide financial support to organizations so they can reach parents of children who do not attend educational services, in particular those in disadvantaged communities and immigrants, and provide them with appropriate educational services.

To improve services for families affected by autism spectrum disorder

With a view to improving services for families affected by autism spectrum disorder, the Government of Quebec will unveil its 2017 to 2022 Action Plan, which contains 35 actions that will help to reduce waiting lists and improve the quality of services.

The investments announced will make it possible to:

  • Increase the number of children under five who can take part in an intensive behavioural intervention program;
  • Systematically assign a navigator for young people as soon as they access services;
  • Ensure continuity of service after they finish their schooling.

More services for vulnerable youth and their families – announced on November 28, 2017

The Government of Quebec will invest additional funds to improve access to psycho-social services and increase the uptake of these youth by educators and psychoeducators.

Additional funds to enhance psychology services for vulnerable youth – announced on March 12, 2018

This investment will result in the addition of 100 youth psychologists and the addition of other professionals in order to complement the multidisciplinary youth teams at integrated health and social services centres.

Action plan on runaways from rehabilitation centres

The Government of Quebec's action plan includes 24 actions in 7 major areas:

  • A rehabilitation service better adapted to youth at risk;
  • Customized intervention that meets young people's specific needs;
  • Supported professionals;
  • Coordination and co-operation between partners;
  • A special focus on runaways and sexual exploitation;
  • Knowledge development, evaluation and transfer;
  • Youth who run away from rehabilitation centres: a priority in Quebec.

Annex 2: Estimate of amounts transferred to Quebec 2017 to 2028*

Fiscal year Estimated amounts of Canada's contribution to Quebec**
2017 to 2018 $87,447,014
2018 to 2019 $87,373,383
2019 to 2020 $87,373,383
2020 to 2021 $87,373,383
2021 to 2022 $87,373,383
2022 to 2023 $115,957,122
2023 to 2024 $125,446,923
2024 to 2025 $125,446,923
2025 to 2026 $126,704,608
2026 to 2027 $141,110,812
2027 to 2028 $141,110,812
Total $1,212,717,749

*Funding beyond this Agreement will be confirmed during the renewal of the bilateral Agreements.
**The amounts indicated are indicative only for 2018 to 2019 to 2027 to 2028 and based on Statistics Canada's July 2017 population projections.

Page details

Date modified: