Canada-Saskatchewan 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
- Amendments to the Agreement
- Equality of treatment
- Annex 1: Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework
- Annex 2: Saskatchewan’s 2020-2021 action plan
Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada (hereinafter referred to as “Canada” or “Government of Canada”) as represented by the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada 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 the province of Saskatchewan (hereinafter referred to as “Saskatchewan” or “Government of Saskatchewan”) as represented by the Minister of Education (herein referred to as “the provincial Minister”)
Referred to collectively as the “Parties”
Whereas, Canada and Saskatchewan 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 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 Executive Government Administration Act authorizes the provincial Minister to enter in agreements with the Government of Canada under which Canada undertakes to provide funding towards costs incurred by the Government of Saskatchewan for the provision of early learning and child care programs and services;
Whereas, Saskatchewan has lead responsibility and jurisdiction for the design, delivery, implementation and provision of early learning and child care programs and services in the province;
Whereas, Saskatchewan’s plan is informed by and responsive to existing provincial strategies including the Saskatchewan Early Years Plan 2016 to 2020, the Education Sector Strategic Plan, the Saskatchewan Poverty Reduction Strategy and the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy;
Whereas, Canada has, pursuant to its Policy on Transfer Payments, established a transfer payment program to provide funds to the provincial and territorial governments for the development and delivery of regulated early learning and child care programs and services for children under six years of age, with consideration for families more in need;
Whereas, Canada and the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the Métis National Council jointly released the co-developed Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Framework in September 2018. This Framework establishes overarching principles and sets a vision for Indigenous children and families;
Whereas, Saskatchewan will continue to work to support the achievement of positive early childhood outcomes related to Indigenous children and families within the context of their jurisdictional responsibilities; and,
Whereas, Canada and Saskatchewan will continue to work together towards a renewed Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
Now therefore, Canada and Saskatchewan agree as follows:
1. Vision for Early Learning and Child Care
1.1 Canada and Saskatchewan agree that the long term vision, principles and objectives for early learning and child care, which are set out in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework that is attached as Annex 1, will guide the investment of funds provided under this Agreement.
2. Early Learning and Child Care objectives and areas of investment
2.1.1 Canada and Saskatchewan agree that over the period of this Agreement, with financial support from Canada, Saskatchewan 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, flexibility and inclusivity in early learning and child care, towards achieving the objectives of:
- inclusivity – through new pilots for preschool children experiencing disabilities
- minority language inclusion – expand Francophone child care
- quality-focused initiatives – that help early learning and child care operators provide play-based, developmentally appropriate programs
- increased access to programs for families – by adding 2,515 new licensed child care spaces that are eligible for Saskatchewan’s Child Care Subsidy
Saskatchewan’s approach towards early learning and child care and to achieving these objectives is set out in their Action Plan attached as Annex 2.
2.2 Eligible areas of investment
2.2.1 Saskatchewan 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:
- 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, Saskatchewan agrees to take into account the needs of Canada’s official minority language communities in Saskatchewan.
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 Saskatchewan in implementing and administering this Agreement.
2.2.4 Canada and Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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; and/or families with children with varying abilities. Needs also include having limited or no access to early learning and child care programs and services in Canada’s official languages.
2.2.6 In 2020-2021, under extraordinary circumstances, Saskatchewan may allocate funding under this agreement to support short-term measures to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on Saskatchewan’s ELCC system. These measures must be aligned with the principles of the Multilateral ELCC Framework and be used to sustain ELCC programs and services.
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 Saskatchewan in accordance with the terms in section 10. In accordance with section 4, funding provided under this Agreement will cover the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020. Amendments to this agreement shall come into effect upon the last signature being affixed and will remain in effect until March 31, 2021, unless terminated in writing by Canada or Saskatchewan in accordance with the terms hereof in section 10. Funding provided under this amended Agreement, in accordance with section 4, will cover the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
3.2 Renewal of bilateral agreements
3.2.1 Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2021-2022 to 2027-2028 will be no less than the annual allocation of this current agreement. Funding for future years will be provided upon the renewal of 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.
3.2.2 The renewal will provide Saskatchewan 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.
3.2.3 In the event this bilateral agreement is renewed in accordance with the terms of section 3.2.1, Saskatchewan may continue to use funding provided thereunder to cover the same eligible areas of investment as those covered through funding received for the period 2017-2021, subject to the terms and conditions of that renewed agreement.
4. Financial provisions
4.1 These contributions are in addition and not in lieu of those that Canada currently pays to Saskatchewan through the Canada Social Transfer in order to support early childhood development and early learning and child care within Saskatchewan.
4.2 Allocation to Saskatchewan
4.2.1 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, 2021.
- $399,669,692 million for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2017
- $399,347,695 million for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2018
- $399,347,695 million 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, Saskatchewan’s estimated share of the amounts described in section 4.2.1 will be:
|Estimated amount to be paid to Saskatchewana (subject to annual adjustment)
- aAmount represents annual estimates based on Statistics Canada population estimates
Canada commits that the annual allocation for all provinces and territories for the period 2021-2022 to 2027-2028 will be no less than the annual allocation for all provinces and territories of this current agreement under the conditions set in section 3.2.1.
4.2.3 The final yearly amount to be paid to Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan for each Fiscal Year and the total population of all provinces and territories for that Fiscal Year are the respective populations as determined on the basis of the quarterly preliminary estimates of the respective populations on July 1, of that Fiscal Year. These estimates are released by Statistics Canada in September of each Fiscal Year.
4.3 In this Agreement, “Fiscal Year” means the period commencing on April 1 of any calendar year and terminating on March 31 of the immediately following calendar year.
Saskatchewan is eligible for the funding under this agreement as follows:
- for 2017-2018 funding, upon signing this agreement; and
- for the 2018-2019 and future years’ funding, upon providing to the federal government the audited financial statement for the previous fiscal year in accordance with 5.2.2(d)
4.4.1 Canada’s contribution will be paid in approximately equal semi-annual installments as follows:
The total payment for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 will be paid within 30 days after the signatures from both parties are affixed to the Agreement.
In 2018-2019, 2019-2020, and 2020-2021 the first installment will be paid within 30 days of the parties signing this agreement 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 50% of the notional amount of Canada’s maximum contribution to Saskatchewan for the Fiscal Year, which will be calculated in the manner described in sections 4.2.3 and 4.2.4.
The amount of the second installment will be an amount equal to the balance of Canada’s contribution to Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan of the actual increased or decreased amount of the second installment in each Fiscal Year as determined under the formula set out in section 4.2.3 as soon as possible following the release in September of each year of the Statistics Canada quarterly preliminary population estimates referred to in section 4.2.4.
Canada shall withhold payment of its second installment for the Fiscal Year if Saskatchewan has failed to provide its annual audited financial statement for the previous Fiscal Year in accordance with section 5.2.2 (d) until such time as the annual audited statement is provided.
Payment of Canada’s 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 Saskatchewan’s administration costs referred to in section 2.2.3 shall not exceed:
In Fiscal Years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020, 2020-2021 an amount up to 10% of the maximum amount payable for those Fiscal Years.
4.6 Carry forward
4.6.1 At the request of Saskatchewan and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, Saskatchewan may retain and carry forward to Fiscal Year 2018-2019, an amount of up to 50% of the contribution paid to Saskatchewan for Fiscal Year 2017-2018 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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. Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, Saskatchewan may retain and carry forward to Fiscal Year 2019-2020, an amount of up to 10% of the contribution paid to Saskatchewan for Fiscal Year 2018-2019 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan and subject to the approval of Canada’s Treasury Board, Saskatchewan may retain and carry forward to Fiscal Year 2020-2021, an amount of up to 10% of the contribution paid to Saskatchewan for 2019-2020 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of eligible costs actually incurred by Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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. Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan exceed the amount to which Saskatchewan 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 written notice to do so and within the period specified in the notice.
4.7.2 In the event that the second installment payment made to Saskatchewan is determined to be less than the amount to which Saskatchewan is owed under the terms of section 4, Canada agrees to pay to Saskatchewan the amount determined to be outstanding upon receipt of written notice to do so and within the period specified in the notice.
4.8 Use of funds
4.8.1 Canada and Saskatchewan agree that funds provided under this Agreement will only be used by Saskatchewan in accordance with the areas for investment outlined in section 2.2 of this Agreement.
4.8.2 In the event that the annual funding allocation for each individual programming category as described in the Action Plan set out in Annex 2 is not fully utilized within the Fiscal Year, Saskatchewan may move the funding between categories to ensure the maximum use of funding. In this instance, Saskatchewan agrees to notify Canada in writing accompanied by an explanation or rationale for this change in funding allocation.
5.1 Action Plan
5.1.1 Saskatchewan has completed and shared its Action Plan for the years 2017-18 to 2019-2020 of federal funding with Canada as set out in the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement 2017-2020. Upon signature of this Agreement by both Parties, Saskatchewan will publicly release their Action Plan which:
- identifies specific priority areas for investment and objectives, within the Framework’s parameters, which builds upon 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 Saskatchewan 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 and Indigenous populations
- outlines their planned innovation spending
- demonstrates that federal investments will be incremental, and will not displace existing Saskatchewan early learning and child care spending, including 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 the Agreement
- may identify additional jurisdiction-specific indicators for tracking progress in relation to the objectives of the Agreement; and
- includes a description of consultation processes referred to in section 5.1.2, the type of groups consulted and outcomes of the engagement
5.1.2 Saskatchewan will consult with provincial stakeholders which may include 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 The parties agree that, where they appear in this Agreement, the words “consult”, “consulted” and “consultation” are not used for the purposes of fulfilling the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate with First Nation and Métis communities and that nothing in this agreement is intended to derogate or abrogate from the Crown’s legal duty to consult and accommodate.
5.1.4 Saskatchewan 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 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 As soon as available in 2017-2018, Saskatchewan agrees to provide all available 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, Saskatchewan agrees to:
- report to the people of Saskatchewan and to Canada on the results and expenditures of early learning and child care programs and services. 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, and the people of Saskatchewan and Canada, an Annual Report in the format and manner decided jointly by Canada and Saskatchewan showing the results of the Action Plan as outlined in Annex 2 and as described in 5.1.1. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Agreement and shall include:
- a brief description of the activities, expenditures and results of the Canada-Saskatchewan 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
- a description of consultation processes, the type of groups consulted and outcomes of the engagement referred to in Annex 2; and
- any additional results of evaluation activities undertaken in the Fiscal Year, as available
- Provide to Canada the reports and financial statements required for each fiscal year covered by this agreement, approved by an individual duly authorized by Saskatchewan.
- Saskatchewan shall provide the financial statements and reports in the manner it considers to be most appropriate to its particular circumstances to meet the requirements set out in this section.
- 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 ELCC programs and services under section 3.2.
- The administration costs incurred by Saskatchewan in developing and administering ELCC programs under section 3.2.3.
- If applicable, the amount of any amount carried forward by Saskatchewan under section 4.6.
- If applicable, the amount of any surplus funds that are to be repaid to Canada under section 4.7.
- If, following presentation of such information, there is a need, in the opinion of Canada, to clarify and determine the relevance of the information provided in the financial statements and reports, Saskatchewan agrees to hold discussions with Canada.
- Saskatchewan agrees to keep accounts and documents up to date and in due form on receipts and expenditures related to the content of this agreement, including all related invoices, receipts and useful supporting documents. For the purposes of this agreement, Saskatchewan shall retain all financial accounts, source documents and other useful documents for a period of at least five (5) years.
The financial statement shall be prepared in accordance with Public Sector Accounting Standards and the audit shall be conducted by the Provincial Auditor General of Saskatchewan or their delegate, or by an independent public accounting firm registered under the laws of Saskatchewan and shall be conducted in accordance with Public Sector Accounting Standards.
5.2.3 Canada, with prior notice to Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan will ensure that expenditure information presented in the annual report is, in accordance with Saskatchewan’s standard accounting practices, complete and accurate.
5.4.1 As per established policies and processes with respect to program effectiveness, Saskatchewan may evaluate programs and services receiving funds provided under this Agreement and will make them available to Canada.
6. Long-term collaboration
6.1 Canada and Saskatchewan agree to work together to support this Framework. This may include sharing and releasing 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 Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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 and mutually agreed upon credit and visibility when investments financed through funds granted under this Agreement are announced to the public.
7.3 Canada and Saskatchewan agree to work together with a federal-provincial/territorial Communications Committee that will meet, either in person or via teleconference, quarterly. The Communication Committee is intended as a collaborative role to provide support with the application of the Communication Protocol related to communications, promotion and joint-announcement opportunities specific to the Framework, bilateral agreement, results of the investments of the Agreement and related milestones. The Communication Committee will comprise representatives from Canada (Employment and Social Development Canada and other interested departments) and from Saskatchewan. Either Party may table agenda items.
7.4 For the purposed visual identity, Canada’s identification are to be determined by Canada and Saskatchewan’s identification is to be determined by Saskatchewan. The mutually agreed upon visual identity decided by the Communications Committee will be applied to all communications materials going forward.
7.5 Canada agrees to give Saskatchewan 10 days advance notice of public communications related to the Framework, bilateral agreements, and results of the investments of this Agreement.
7.6 Saskatchewan 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.
7.7 Saskatchewan will make best efforts to require service providers, funded under this Agreement, to display federal identification to recognize that the programs and services provided receive Canada’s financial assistance.
7.8 Saskatchewan agrees that promotional communications to all groups receiving funding through this Agreement (for example, child care centres, regulated family child care homes, early learning centres, preschools and nursery schools, businesses, associations, unions, training institutions, universities, colleges, and career colleges) will include federal identification and recognize Canada’s financial assistance.
7.9 Canada will provide a mutually agreed upon standard letter to Saskatchewan for use in notifying all recipients of funding from this Agreement, to include federal and Saskatchewan identification and recognize Canada’s financial assistance. Parties may collectively agree on an alternate version that appropriately identifies and recognizes both Parties.
8. Dispute resolution
8.1 Canada and Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan, as the case may be, may notify the other party in writing of the failure or breach. Upon such notice, Canada and Saskatchewan 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 Saskatchewan most responsible for early learning and child care, and if it cannot be resolved by them, then the federal Minister and provincial Minister shall endeavour 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 of Employment and Social Development, and in the case of Saskatchewan, by the provincial Minister.
10.1 Canada or Saskatchewan may terminate this Agreement at any time if the terms of this Agreement are not respected by the other party by giving at least six months written notice of its intention to terminate.
10.2 As of the effective date of termination of this Agreement under section 10.1, Canada shall have no obligation to make any further payments to Saskatchewan.
11. Equality of treatment
11.1 During the term of this Agreement, if another province or territory, except the province of Quebec, which is not part of the Early Learning and Child Care 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 Saskatchewan, 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 Saskatchewan, if requested by Saskatchewan. 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.
11.2 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.
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 Saskatchewan shall be:
Ministry of Education
2220 College Ave
Regina SK S4P 4V9
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 Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, Annex 1, concluded on June 12, 2017.
13.3 This Agreement shall be interpreted according to the laws of Canada and Saskatchewan.
13.4 No member of the House of Commons or of the Senate of Canada or of the Legislature of Saskatchewan 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 styled as Minister of Families, Children and Social Development in Gatineau this 26 day of June, 2020.
[Signed by] The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Signed on behalf of Saskatchewan by the Minister of Education at Regina this 29 day of June, 2020.
[Signed by] The Honourable Gordon Wyant, Minister of Education
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: Saskatchewan’s 2020-2021 action plan
For the 2017-2020 Saskatchewan Action Plan, please consult Annex 2: Saskatchewan Action Plan
Saskatchewan 2020-2021 Action Plan for Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement
Saskatchewan is extending the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement for the period of 2020-2021 in order to ensure continuity of programs and services under the existing agreement while finalizing a longer term agreement with the Government of Canada. The 2017-2018 to 2019-2020 three-year bi-lateral agreement provided over $41 million to support Saskatchewan children in getting the best start in life.
Investments for 2020-2021 made under the Agreement will remain similar to the 2019-2020 allocation of $13.665 million. Investments will continue to be in the areas of access, inclusion, quality and minority language as per the Multilateral Agreement.
Saskatchewan’s focus on the Early Years
Saskatchewan’s integrated approach to early learning and child care recognizes high quality care and holistic, play-based approaches that best support the development of young children. Investments by Saskatchewan for young children and families are based on research that supports the social, physical, emotional and intellectual development of a child’s early years by helping them to reach their full future potential. Saskatchewan uses the Play and Exploration: Early Learning Program Guide as its foundational curriculum to guide quality practice and approaches in the sector. The guide lays out the principles of holistic, responsive and developmentally appropriate early learning and child care programs.
In addition to the federal funding of $41 million over the course of the three-year agreement, Saskatchewan, through the Ministry of Education, continues to invest in supports for licensed early learning and child care. This funding assists with the costs of developing and operating non-profit child care services, supports community programs to deliver programming to vulnerable children and families, supports Prekindergarten programs for vulnerable three and four-year old children and supports additional programming requirements of children with intensive needs.
Federal Investments Support Saskatchewan Strategic Priorities
Saskatchewan is committed to maintaining current investment levels for early learning and child care. Investments made through the Canada-Saskatchewan Early Learning and Child Care Agreement are in addition to provincial investments and will work to build on existing strengths in the province’s early learning and child care system.
Saskatchewan’s Action Plan for 2020-2021 for federal investment into early learning and child care will continue to provide families access and options for child care and early learning and improve access to healthy and safe child care environments. The plan will also continue to respond to the needs of families, citizens and early learning and child care stakeholders and provincial strategies that include Saskatchewan’s Early Years Plan 2016-2020, the Educator Sector Strategic Plan and the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy.
Saskatchewan’s Plan for Investment
Over the course of this one-year extension, Saskatchewan will continue to build upon the main priorities from the existing Agreement. These priorities support the province’s strategic goals and aligns with the federal governments early learning and child care funding criteria. Investments will continue to be made in the areas of quality, accessibility, inclusion and Francophone minority language inclusion.
|Plan for Investment
|Inclusivity – Opportunities for preschool aged children experiencing disability
|Minority language inclusion – Francophone early learning and child care
|Access – Expand access to high quality, child care programs
|Quality – Enhance early learning and child care experiences for children
|Administration – Support the ongoing operations of investments under the agreement
- * Includes 2020-2021 allocation of $13.665 million and carry-forward of approximately $0.647 million from 2019-2020
Accessibility – Expand access to new high quality licensed child care and early learning
Saskatchewan will continue to support the increased spaces in licensed centre-based and home-based child care and family resource centres.
Saskatchewan will spend up to $6.723 million in 2020-2021 on continued operating funding which will support:
Early Childhood Services Grant
Access to high-quality licensed child care was expanded through 1,295 new centre-based spaces. These new spaces included 75 new licensed Francophone child care spaces to support the continued growth of the Francophone culture and heritage. All 1,295 centre spaces have been allocated to organizations around the province based on need. This ongoing operating funding from the Early Childhood Services Grant will continue for the licensed centre-based spaces developed under the Agreement to support their operations and expenses including staffing costs.
Nutrition and Equipment Grants
In 2017-2018, existing nutrition and equipment grants were increased by 50 per cent to create an incentive to become and/or remain licensed. The nutrition grant increased from $40 to $60 per month per space, and the equipment grant increased from $100 to $150 per space per year. Ongoing funding will be provided for licensed home-based spaces developed under the Agreement.
Early Years Family Resources Centres
Early Years Family Resource Centres provide a place under one roof where all families with young children prenatal to age five can access reliable information and support and participate in services like parenting programs and free early learning and literacy opportunities that might be hard to find in their community.
Ongoing operating funding will continue for the seven family resource centres developed under the Agreement.
Inclusion – Supporting inclusive early learning and child care opportunities for young children experiencing disability
Early learning opportunities for children experiencing disability through innovative pilots will continue to be supported throughout Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan will spend up to $4.09 million in 2020-2021 on continued operating funding which will support:
Early Learning Intensive Support pilot (ELIS)
Support will continue for the ongoing operating of programs across the province for preschool-aged children with intensive needs. ELIS is a new approach for preschool-aged children experiencing significant, enduring disabilities. This program created additional spaces targeted to children experiencing significant disability in existing Prekindergarten programs. These targeted Prekindergarten spaces are supported by additional educational assistants and funding for specialized professional services in the classroom.
Children Communicating and Connecting in the Community (4Cs)
Operating funding will continue for the two programs for preschool-aged deaf and hard of hearing children in Regina and Saskatoon. The 4Cs is a new approach for preschool-aged children who are deaf or hard of hearing. These programs support the children’s development through inclusive environments supported by trained staff and appropriate technology.
Enhanced Accessibility grant (EA)
There will be ongoing grant support for children with additional needs attending child care across the province. This grant supports a child’s ability to attend child care by offering financial supports for additional staff and resources needed to ensure their intensive needs are met.
Rural and Northern grant
For those preschool aged children with intensive needs not eligible for the EA grant, the Rural and Northern Grant will continue to be provided to assist them in attending child care in rural and northern communities that do not have Prekindergarten or the new Early Learning Intensive Support program.
Francophone Minority Language Inclusion – Supporting Francophone children in child care and early learning programs
Saskatchewan continues to support the Francophone community and will spend up to $0.308 million in 2020-2021 on continued operating funding which will support:
- Francophone child care: Continued Early Childhood Services Grant operating funding will be provided for the licensed centre-based spaces for Francophone families developed under the Agreement. Saskatchewan had a target of 65 spaces over the course of the agreement, based on consultations with the Fransaskoises parent boards and the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises, and exceeded the target with a total investment of 75 spaces
- translation: Funding will include supporting the translation of fundamental documents to ensure equity in the Francophone sector
Quality – Enhance early learning and child care experiences for children
Saskatchewan is committed to enhance the experience of children in licensed child care by investing in training and resources for licensed child care providers to ensure high-quality programming. Investments have been and will continue to be invested in the quality of the early learning and child care system across the province.
Saskatchewan will spend up to $2.618 million in 2020-2021 on new initiatives related to training opportunities, supporting public knowledge and awareness of the importance of and opportunities for early learning and child care and financial supports to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue providing training opportunities to support educators and staff in the early learning and child care sector with a specific focus on building quality programs through the adoption of Play and Exploration and building staff capacity to respond to children with unique needs.
Continue working with the United Way to build a specific portal on the 211 site to support parent navigation and access to information related to early learning and child care programs and services. The portal will serve as a one-stop shop for parents, caregivers or anyone looking for information, programming or services for children zero to six. Funding will support the continued development and ongoing cost to maintain the portal.
Continue the two public awareness campaigns that were launched in 2019-2020. Play. Learn. Grow. Together! was launched as a way to reach out to parents of newborn and pre-school aged children with tips and information on how to help them learn at home. In addition, increasing awareness of the benefits of licensed family child care homes and the value they bring to the early years sector was also shared through the Government of Saskatchewan’s social media outlets.
In response to the widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the child care sector, Saskatchewan will provide additional financial supports beyond regular government grants to child care facilities providing licensed child care services for employees working in eligible sectors responding to the pandemic. These supports will ensure these facilities are able to continue operations, mainly related to their need to continue to employ staff despite lower than usual enrolment.
By March 2021, Saskatchewan will achieve the following targets:
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Saskatchewan’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.
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