Canada - Yukon Early Learning and Child Care Agreement

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Between

Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada (hereinafter referred to as “Canada” or “Government of Canada”) as represented by the Minister of Employment and Social Development (herein referred to as “the federal Minister”)

And

Her Majesty the Queen in right of the Territory of Yukon (hereinafter referred to as Yukon” or “Government of Yukon”) as represented by the Minister of Health and Social Services herein referred to as “the Yukon Minister”)

Referred to collectively as the “Parties”

Preamble

Whereas, Canada and Yukon 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 Government Organization Act authorizes the Yukon Minister to enter in agreements with the Government of Canada under which Canada undertakes to provide funding toward costs incurred by the Government of Yukon for the provision of early learning and child care programs and services;

Whereas, Canada has, pursuant to its Policy on Transfer Payments, established a transfer payment program to provide funds to the provincial and territorial governments for the development and delivery of regulated early learning and child care programs and services for children under six years of age, with consideration for families more in need;

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

Whereas, Yukon invests in early learning and child care for Indigenous children.

Now therefore, Canada and Yukon agree as follows:

1. Vision for Early Learning and Child Care

1.1 Canada and Yukon 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 Objectives

2.1.1 Canada and Yukon agree that over the period of this Agreement, with financial support from Canada, Yukon 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:

  1. Building on existing territorial investments in early learning and child care programs to support expansion of programs that continue to support children, parents, families and communities.

Yukon’s policy towards early learning and child care and approach to achieving these objectives is set out in their action plan attached as Annex 2.

2.2 Eligible areas of investment

2.2.1 Yukon agrees to prioritize funds provided by Canada under this Agreement in regulated early learning and child care programs and services for children under the age of six where:

  1. Regulated programs and services are defined as those that meet standards that are established and/or monitored by provincial/territorial governments.
  2. Early learning and child care programs and services are defined as those supporting direct care and early learning for children in settings including, but not limited to, regulated child care centres, regulated family child care homes, early learning centres, preschools and nursery schools.

2.2.2 In developing and delivering its early learning and child care programs and services, Yukon agrees to take into account the needs of official language minority communities in Yukon, as “official language” is understood under Canada’s Official Languages Act.

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, parent’s information and referral, and/or administration costs incurred by Yukon in implementing and administering this Agreement.

2.2.4 Canada and Yukon 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 Yukon 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 the children’s official language, as “official language” is understood under Canada’s Official Languages Act.

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 in accordance with the terms hereof in section 11. Funding provided under this Agreement, in accordance with section 4, will cover the period from April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2020.

3.2 Renewal of bilateral agreements

3.2.1 Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2020-2021 to 2027-2028 will be no less than the annual allocation of this current agreement. Funding for future years will be provided upon the renewal of 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 Yukon 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 Yukon through the Canada Social Transfer in order to support early childhood development and early learning and child care within Yukon.

4.2 Allocation to Yukon

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, 2020.

  1. $399,669,692 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2017
  2. $399,347,695 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2018
  3. $399,347,695 for the fiscal year beginning on April 1, 2019

4.2.2 Subject to annual adjustment based on the formula described in section 4.2.3, Yukon’s estimated share of the amounts described in section 4.2.1 will be:

Fiscal year Estimated amount to be paid to Yukon* (subject to annual adjustment)
2017-2018 $2,391,493
2018-2019 $2,391,156
2019-2020 $2,391,156
  • *Illustrative levels based on July 2017 population projections

Canada commits that the annual allocation for the period 2020-2021 to 2027-2028 will be no less than the annual allocation of this current agreement under the conditions set in section 3.2.1.

4.2.3 The final yearly amount to be paid to Yukon 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 Yukon, 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 Yukon for each fiscal year and the total population of all provinces and territories for that fiscal year are the respective populations as determined on the basis of the quarterly preliminary estimates of the respective populations on July 1 of that fiscal year released in September of that fiscal year by Statistics Canada.

4.3 In this Agreement, “fiscal year” means the period commencing on April 1 of any calendar year and terminating on March 31 of the immediately following calendar year.

4.4 Payment

4.4.1 Canada’s contribution will be paid in approximately equal semi annual installments as follows:

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

In 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, the 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 50% of the notional amount of Canada’s maximum contribution to Yukon 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 Yukon 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 Yukon 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 Yukon 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.

For 2018-2019 and 2019-2020, Canada shall withhold payment of its second installment for the fiscal year if Yukon has failed to provide its annual audited financial statement for the previous fiscal year in accordance with section 5.2.1 (d) until such time as the annual audited statement is provided.

Payment of Canada’s 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 Yukon’s administration costs referred to in section 2.2.3 shall not exceed:

In fiscal years 2017-2018, 2018-2019, 2019-2020 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 Yukon and subject to the approval of Canada's Treasury Board, Yukon may retain and carry forward to fiscal year 2018-2019, an amount of up to 50% of the contribution paid to Yukon for fiscal year 2017-2018 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of the eligible costs actually incurred by Yukon 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 in the subsequent fiscal year.

4.6.2 For greater certainty, any amount carried forward to fiscal year 2018-2019 under this section is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to Yukon 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. Yukon 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 Yukon and subject to the approval of Canada's Treasury Board, Yukon may retain and carry forward to fiscal year 2019-2020, an amount of up to 10% of the contribution paid to Yukon for fiscal year 2018-2019 under section 4.2.3 that is in excess of the amount of the eligible costs actually incurred by Yukon 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 in the subsequent fiscal year.

4.6.5 For greater certainty, any amount carried forward to fiscal year 2019-2020 under this section is supplementary to the maximum amount payable to Yukon under section 4.2.3 of this Agreement in 2019-2020.

4.6.6 The amount carried forward, pursuant to section 4.6.4 must be spent by March 31, 2020. Yukon is not entitled to retain any such carried forward amounts that remain unexpended after March 31, 2020, nor is it entitled to retain any balance of Canada's contribution for fiscal year 2019-20 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.

4.7 Repayment of overpayment

4.7.1 In the event payments made to Yukon exceed the amount to which Yukon is entitled under the Agreement, the amount of the excess is a debt due to Canada and shall be repaid to Canada upon receipt of notice to do so and within the period specified in the notice.

4.8 Use of Funds

4.8.1 Canada and Yukon agree that funds provided under this Agreement will only be used by Yukon in accordance with the areas for investment outlined in section 2.2 of this Agreement.

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

5. Accountability

5.1 Action plan

5.1.1 Yukon has completed and shared its action plan for the years 2017-2018 – 2019-2020 of federal funding with Canada, as set out in Annex 2. Upon signature of this Agreement by both Parties, Yukon will publicly release their action plan which:

  1. 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;
  2. Describes how Yukon plans to continue 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;
  3. Outlines their planned innovation spending;
  4. Demonstrates that federal investments will be incremental, and will not displace existing Yukon early learning and child care spending, in particular spending dedicated to Indigenous populations;
  5. Outlines the indicators that will be reported on annually according to their planned investments;
  6. Identifies specific targets for each indicator that will be reported on annually for tracking progress in relation to the objectives of the Agreement;
  7. Identifies additional jurisdiction-specific indicators for tracking progress in relation to the objectives of the Agreement;
  8. 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 Yukon will complete targeted engagement with parents, child care providers, experts, Indigenous peoples, official language minority communities and other interested Yukoners as an important step in developing and revising its action plan. The engagement will include, but is not limited to, letters sent to First Nation government leadership offering opportunities to share views and thoughts, surveys targeted at child care operator’s/day homes and parents/guardians including low-income families and meetings with child care advocacy groups, early learning and child care staff and the French language community. The goal of this engagement is to gather input on how to better address the early learning and child care needs of Yukon communities.

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

5.2 Reporting

5.2.1 Yukon agrees to provide all available baseline data on the agreed-to indicators within 30 calendar days following the signing of this Agreement.

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, Yukon agrees to:

  1. Report to the people of Yukon and to Canada on the results and expenditures of early learning and child care programs and services. The report shall include the number of children benefiting from subsidies, number of licensed early learning and child care spaces broken down by age of child and type of setting. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Agreement.
  2. Continue to provide to Canada data required for the publication of the joint Federal-Provincial/Territorial report on public investments in Early Childhood Education and Care in Canada.
  3. Provide to Canada an annual report in the format and manner decided jointly by Canada and Yukon. The report shall show separately the results attributable to the funding provided by Canada under this Agreement and shall include:
    1. Brief description of the activities, expenditures and results of the Canada- Yukon Early Learning and Child Care Agreement as set out in Annex 2;
    2. Results achieved according to the indicators and targets referred to in Annex 2;
    3. Impact on families more in need, including families that have limited access to programs and services in their official language referred to in Annex 2;
    4. Results achieved on innovation referred to in Annex 2;
    5. Description of any consultation processes undertaken and the stakeholder groups consulted consistent with section 5.1.2; and,
    6. Any evaluation activities that may have been undertaken in the fiscal year, as available.
  4. Provide to Canada an audited financial statement of revenues received from Canada under this Agreement during the fiscal year:
    1. The revenue section of the statement shall show the amount received from Canada under this Agreement during the fiscal year;
    2. The total amount of funding used for early learning and child care programs and services under section 2.2;
    3. The administration costs incurred by Yukon in developing and administering early learning and child care programs under section 2.2.3;
    4. If applicable, the amount of any amount carried forward by Yukon under section 4.6; and
    5. If applicable, the amount of any surplus funds that are to be repaid to Canada under section 4.7.

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

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

5.3 Audit

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

5.4 Evaluation

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

6. Long-term collaboration

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

7. Communications

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

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

8. Dispute resolution

8.1 Canada and Yukon 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 Yukon 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 Yukon, as the case may be, may notify the other party in writing of the failure or breach. Upon such notice, Canada and Yukon 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 Yukon most responsible for early learning and child care, and if it cannot be resolved by them, then the federal Minister and the Yukon Minister shall endeavour to resolve the dispute.

9. Amendments to the agreement

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 Yukon, by the Yukon Minister.

10. Equality of treatment

10.1 During the term of this Agreement, if another province or territory, except the province of Quebec, which is not part of the Framework, negotiates and enters into an Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with Canada, or negotiates and enters into an amendment to such an agreement and if, in the reasonable opinion of Yukon, any provision of that agreement or amended agreement is more favourable to that province or territory than terms set forth in this Agreement, Canada agrees to amend this Agreement in order to afford similar treatment to Yukon, if requested by Yukon. 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 Agreement or the amendment to such an Agreement with the other province or territory, as the case may be, comes into force.

10.2 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.

11. Termination

11.1 Canada may terminate this Agreement at any time if the terms of this Agreement are not respected by Yukon by giving at least 6 months written notice of its intention to terminate.

11.2 As the effective date of termination of this Agreement under section 11.1, Canada shall have no obligation to make any further payments to Yukon after the date of effective termination.

12. Notice

12.1 Any notice, information or document provided for under this Agreement will be effectively given if delivered or sent by letter, postage or other charges prepaid. Any notice that is delivered will have been received in delivery; and, except in periods of postal disruption, any notice mailed will be deemed to have been received eight calendar days after being mailed.

The address for notice or communication to Canada shall be:

140 Promenade du Portage
Gatineau, Québec  K1A 0J9

The address for notice or communication to Yukon shall be:

1 Hospital Road
Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 3H7

13. General

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

13.2 This Agreement is based on the 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 Yukon.

13.4 No member of the House of Commons or of the Senate of Canada or of the Legislature of Yukon shall be admitted to any share or part of this Agreement, or to any benefit arising therefrom.

13.5 If for any reason a provision of this Agreement that is not a fundamental term is found by a court of competent jurisdiction to be or to have become invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, it will be deemed to be severable and will be deleted from this Agreement, but all the other provisions of this Agreement will continue to be valid and enforceable.

13.6 This Agreement is drafted in English at the request of the Parties. Les parties ont convenu que le présent Accord soit rédigé en anglais.

Signed on behalf of Canada by the Minister of Employment and Social Development at Ottawa this 7th day of February, 2018.

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

Signed on behalf of Yukon by the Minister of Health and Social Services at Ottawa this 7th day of February, 2018.

The Honourable Pauline Frost, Minister of Health and Social Services

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: Yukon action plan

Early Learning and Child Care in Yukon

Early learning and child care (ELCC) is a long-standing focus of government and non-government agencies across the country and the world in general. New approaches and strategies to ensure children are getting the best start possible are constantly being theorized, researched and put into programming. From these innovative approaches, new concepts are being learned that support evidence-informed decisions, appropriately targeted programming, and investments. ELCC generally requires that experts and program officials from areas of health, education, family services and a variety of other social areas come together and thus, often includes many organizations and professionals working together.

As it stands in Yukon, ELCC is a relatively undefined term and is best referenced as a general set of initiatives and programming targeted at children aged 0-5. Within the Yukon government, this programming is offered by the Department of Health and Social Services as well as the Department of Education directly and indirectly through grants to organizations like the Child Development Centre. Outside of the Yukon government, early learning and child care programming is offered by a variety of local governments and organizations.

The Yukon context

Yukon has a population of 35,874 with the capital, Whitehorse, being the urban center and thirteen rural communities. As of October 2017, ten of the rural communities have licensed child care programs. Yukon is the proud home of fourteen First Nations with eight different languages. Eleven of the fourteen Yukon First Nations have negotiated and signed comprehensive land claim and self-government agreements.

Yukon communities experience challenges compounded by geographic remoteness. Some of these challenges include retention of trained early childhood staff, the cost of food, supplies, and maintaining and operating licensed child care centers. As of October 2017, three Yukon communities are without licensed child care programs. First Nation governments and the Yukon government will work together to identify and better understand the needs of First Nation communities and how to best support their families.

Engagement description

In order to develop Yukon’s action plan, Department of Health and Social Services Early Learning and Child Care staff engaged with a number of First Nation governments and stakeholder groups for Phase 1 of engagement.

The week of August 28th 2017, all First Nation governments and six early childhood stakeholder groups were contacted for the purpose of seeking input regarding the priorities of early learning and child care. Staff attended engagement sessions on the traditional territory of some Yukon First Nation governments and submissions were also received by email and mail. Staff also met with six stakeholder groups representing parents, operators and educators. Phase 1 of engagement was concluded in October 2017. Yukon will begin Phase 2 of engagement with parents and operators in winter 2017, making agreed upon amendments to the strategic investments contained in the bilateral agreement as required. Phase 2 of engagement will solicit direct feedback from parents and operators, during a time when parents are available and operators are in the midst of providing child care services.

During Phase 1 of the engagement process, participants identified several common priorities. These included suggestions to enhance and maintain ELCC programs and services in Yukon. Included in these suggestions were thoughts about increasing quality, accessibility, affordability, inclusivity and flexibility, and keeping programs and services as community-centered as possible. These were viewed as essential components to ensure staff retention and maximize children’s developmental abilities.

The development of a culturally and developmentally appropriate curriculum, which is both linguistically inclusive, including French, and traditional languages, and sensitive to the needs of individual communities, was a common priority of many of the First Nation government and stakeholder groups.

First Nation governments and stakeholders communicated a desire for program improvements and funding increases to existing early learning and child care programs. They also provided suggestions for new initiatives aimed at increasing the quality of early learning and child care which include enrichment grants, education bursaries, grandparent grants, and handle with care training programming.

Individually, some participants in the engagement process identified the need for greater community-based participation by Yukon College, whose training in early child care programs are valued. Some of the contributors highlighted the need for changes to the Direct Operating Grant’s hot meals program to ensure children in early learning and child care programs are nutritionally prepared to fully participate and benefit from program activities.

Investments under the bilateral agreement

The 2016 Federal Budget committed $400M in 2017-2018 to support the establishment of the Multilateral ELCC Framework (Framework) with provinces and territories. In addition, the 2017 Federal Budget committed $7B over 10 years, starting in 2018-2019. A portion of this investment will be dedicated to ELCC programs for Indigenous children living on- and off-reserve.

Yukon’s action plan is consistent with the parameters established under the Framework and is reflective of the Framework’s guiding principles to increase quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity in ELCC, with consideration for families more in need. Under this action plan, federal investments will support four main areas including improving quality of ELCC through training, improving affordability and accessibility, innovation, and providing inclusive ELCC programs.

1. Improving quality through training

Total investment over 3 years: $650,000

In Yukon, many Early Childhood Educators (ECEs) encounter challenges in accessing training opportunities or professional development materials that can enhance the quality of services related to early learning and child care. Improving the access and availability of training opportunities and materials for ECEs will help improve outcomes for children and families by improving the quality of ELCC programming. Through the engagement process, Yukon has heard that there is an opportunity to enhance the quality and accessibility of professional development opportunities for ECE’s in both rural communities and Whitehorse. Through its action plan, Yukon will invest in the education and professional development of ECEs that are instrumental in providing the best start for Yukon children. This investment will improve the quality of child care programming and skill development for current and/or future Yukoners employed in this sector.

Yukon is one of the few Canadian jurisdictions without an early learning and child care curriculum. This results in inconsistent outcomes for children transitioning into the primary education system. Through its action plan, Yukon will invest in a culturally appropriate child care curriculum that promotes consistent, positive outcomes for all Yukon children and prepares them for life-long education. This will benefit the children, parents, operators, ECE’s, communities, and Yukon as a territory. Along with this curriculum, Yukon will invest in providing on-the-ground support to ECE’s and prospective students in communities, encouraging training and development. This will assist in the successful completion of early childhood training for rural ECE’s, improving the quality of child care and level of training in Yukon’s child care workforce.

Actions to achieve these objectives include:

Professional development ($60,000 over three years)

Funding will be allocated to an annual professional development-training event to provide an opportunity for ECEs across Yukon to share best practices, access training and professional development opportunities, and take information back with them to further train their colleagues. This is an affordable training option for ECEs, particularly for those working in rural areas that may not have access to training or professional development opportunities, and directly supports improving the quality of ELCC programming. Training will be made available to all ECEs in licensed programs with the anticipation that as many educators as possible will attend. The outcome of this initiative is an increased number of staff attending and benefitting from this professional development opportunity, in turn improving the quality of child care they provide.

It is anticipated that 60% of Yukon ECEs, approximately 132 educators, will attend the professional training event.

Curriculum development and implementation ($220,000 over three years)

Funding will be allocated to developing a culturally appropriate curriculum for early childhood development and education from ages 0-5. This will increase the quality and inclusivity of child care by ensuring that children have consistent, positive outcomes as they transition into the primary education system. Development of this will include engagement with interested parties, partners and stakeholders from varying cultural backgrounds, including Indigenous cultures and languages. Funding will also be allocated to develop a training program for ECEs on the content of the curriculum and delivery to Yukon children in order to ensure successful implementation of the curriculum. This will impact the long-term quality of all licensed programs in Yukon.

It is anticipated that 100% of ELCC centres will implement the new curriculum with approximately 960 children benefitting from its adoption. This is based on a Yukon Government proposed requirement that all registered childhood centres implement the curriculum.

Education Bursaries ($100,000 over three years)

Funding will be made available to support students enrolled in recognized early childhood education courses to assist with the cost of early childhood education training. This funding will help increase access to early childhood education courses for current and future ECEs, particularly for those living in rural areas. Providing support for additional education opportunities will encourage ECEs to pursue diploma programs in early childhood, increase the number of qualified ECEs in the sector, and will have a positive impact on the quality of ELCC programming for children. Current funding is made available for students enrolled in ECE courses at Yukon College. The current model allows existing ECE workers to access funding to cover the cost of the courses. This additional funding will allow 10 more future ECEs to access funding for course work as well as allow for flexibility of availability of online, accredited, post-secondary coursework from outside Yukon.

An additional 10 students, supplemental to the 27 students funded in the academic year 2016-2017 will be able to access education bursaries as a result of increased funding for students from rural communities. This represents a 37% increase in rural students accessing education bursaries.

Yukon college trainers ($270,000 over three years)

Child care workers in the Yukon are at a variety of different phases of their ELCC training. The Yukon system of child care worker designations has five levels – from the lowest requiring 60 hours of training to the highest requiring two full years of training. ECEs in Yukon are encouraged to pursue continued education opportunities through the Yukon college to advance to the next level of their education. The Government of Yukon will use federal funding to support ECEs as they complete coursework; with the eventual goal to have eight ELCC diploma graduates (two year program) per year.

Funding will be provided to Yukon College to provide additional early childhood instructor support for students in rural Yukon communities who are enrolled in Yukon College. Currently, Yukon College’s ECE program supports the delivery of web based courses to fulfill credits toward the completion of the certificate or diploma programs. However, many rural child care providers lack the support and coordination to fully participate and benefit from these services. This initiative will address this gap by offering specific community based courses and academic support on site, improving access to needed courses to improve the training and education of existing ECEs. In 2016-2017, 220 ECEs were trained at Yukon College, this includes new students and ECE continuing education. This initiative is expected to increase the number of students completing the ECE diploma program by 8 per year. This regional delivery model will result in higher success and completion rates for rural ECE students. ECEs will have access to face-to-face support and work place skills development through coordination with local licensed child care centers and tutoring opportunities for all ECEs. This will accelerate and facilitate the improvement of ELCC services to rural communities in Yukon.

With increased funding, it is anticipated that the number of ECEs who complete the two year diploma program through Yukon College will increase by 8 students in the next academic year (2017-2018).

2. Improving affordability and accessibility

Total investment over 3 years: $4,317,112

The affordability and accessibility of child care is important in many jurisdictions and, given the geographical location and circumstances, Yukon is no exception. Ensuring that children have access to affordable early learning and child care is an integral part of strong and resilient communities. When child care is affordable and accessible parents can work, the economy grows and children have more opportunities to participate in early learning and child care programs. However, ELCC operators in Yukon face many challenges related to remoteness in the North including the higher cost of food, cost of shipping equipment and materials, and the increased infrastructure costs. These challenges often result in higher and increasing fees to parents. Yukon needs to increase support to licensed child care programs to stabilize, and where possible, reduce fees to parents. Actions to achieve this include increases to funding available under the Direct Operating Grant and changes to the program to promote greater accountability, tracking, and reporting of outcomes. Through this, it is anticipated that parent fees will stabilize and rural programs will receive additional funding to better reflect the reality of providing early learning and child care programming in rural and northern communities.

Enhanced funding will be made available for a variety of emerging issues including radon mitigation, health and wellness emergencies, and better understanding the needs of various areas of our community.

Actions to achieve these objectives include:

Direct Operating Grant ($3,212,112 over three years)

The Direct Operating Grant is Yukon’s most significant early learning and child care funding program, with funding targeting operations of child care centres and space stabilization. Funding for the Direct Operating Grant for child care centres providing services to children under age five, will be increased by 14.5% which reflects the cost of living increases since 2007. As a result of the increase in the costs of living and the higher costs associated with operating an early learning and child care centre, parent fees have continued to rise. The percentage change in child care fees in the last four years varies according to the age group of the child. Over the last four years, infant fees rose 7%, toddler fees 4% and preschool fees 5%. For many families, increasing parent fees are significant and result in children no longer accessing the child care program. Through increased funding to the Direct Operating Grant, it is anticipated that parent fees will stabilize and rural programs will receive additional funding to better reflect the reality of providing early learning and child care programming in rural and northern communities. It is expected that this funding will assist ELCC programs to provide more infant spaces, an identified area of need in Yukon, as well as encourage new programs to open and provide care where none currently exists, such as in rural Yukon. Through increased support offered through the Direct Operating Grant, it is anticipated that 18 new child care spaces in key age areas will be developed.

It is anticipated that through this initiative 90% of child care centres will maintain current fee schedules without increases in costs to parents, potentially stabilizing child care fees for 864 children. This percentage is aspirational and will be measureable after a costing of child care program fees baseline is established and tracking of changes in those fees are monitored on a regular basis.

Enhancement fund ($450,000 over three years)

Additional funding will be made available to licensed child care programs to apply for funding for regulatory requirements related to health and safety. This funding includes health and safety issues such as radon remediation, playground development and other health and safety issues. This funding ensures that children in licensed child care programs have safe, quality environments and that operators have access to funding to respond to emergencies or unanticipated health and safety issues without needing to raise parent fees. This funding will be important in ensuring that ELCC centres can remain open by making the necessary health and safety improvements to maintain an operating license and to remain operational.

This funding is expected to support 100% of ELCC centres in remaining operational, directly benefiting approximately 960 children. It is anticipated that this funding will benefit all ELCC centres that require improvements to meet regulatory health and safety standards and requirements.

Enrichment fund ($280,000 over three years)

One-time funding ($300 per utilized space) will be made available to licensed child care programs to purchase culturally and developmentally appropriate toys and equipment aimed at increasing the quality and inclusivity of child care facilities in Yukon. Currently, many ELCC centres in Yukon do not have early learning resources that are culturally relevant and adequately support child development. This initiative will provide funding to these centres to purchase the required resources such as books and music in Indigenous languages, developmentally appropriate toys, and other early learning resources. This one-time funding is expected to benefit all licensed child care centres in the Yukon.

It is anticipated that 100% of child care centres will access funding through the new Enrichment fund, benefitting approximately 960 children.

Feasibility planning and French language ECE Support ($30,000 over three years)

Engagement with the Association Franco-Yukonnaise indicated that it is challenging to find early childhood education programs in Yukon where French is the primary language. It is clear that additional child care spaces are required to serve the French community both in Whitehorse and other communities. In many instances, Franco-Yukonnaise families utilize Anglophone child care services due to the oversubscribed demand for Francophone ELCC services. This funding will be made available to the Association Franco-Yukonnaise to complete a feasibility study on increasing French language licensed child care spaces as well as to better understand the child care needs of the French communities in rural Yukon. A report detailing the outcomes of the feasibility study will be shared with Yukon government and will be used to guide future investments. To address this gap in the short-term, funding will help support the Franco-Yukonnaise community in providing more early learning opportunities for Francophone children who do not currently have access to child care in French including drop-in early learning centres that will operate in French and will be run by qualified ECEs.

It is anticipated that at least 30 additional French language child care spaces will be identified as a need in Yukon. It is further anticipated that additional support to 20 families not accessing licensed child care will be provided through the funding allocated to the French ECE position enabling Francophone children to access some supports in French.

Grandparent Grant ($75,000 over three years)

In Yukon, many grandparents are primary caregivers for their grandchildren for a variety of reasons including health and safety, addictions, mental health, and trauma related issues. Many of these grandparents are not eligible for existing subsidy programs because of the current income testing guidelines. This funding will provide an increase to the Child Care Subsidy Program where additional funding will be available to grandparents who are responsible for providing primary care for their grandchildren. This initiative will provide a separate stream of funding to support these grandparents in accessing affordable ELCC services. Program officials will also work to increase the public awareness of this improved initiative in hopes of increasing the number of grandparents supported. An increase of approximately 25% in the number of children that benefit from this program is expected through the initiatives outlined in this action plan for grandparents.

This could result in approximately five to 11 dependents (depending on sibling groupings) benefitting from the supports offered through the Grandparent Grant.

First Nation Government Funding ($210,000 over three years)

One-time funding will be available to Yukon First Nation governments to better understand the early learning and child care needs of their citizens. A report detailing the outcomes of each review undertaken will be shared with Yukon government and would be used to guide future investments. The purpose of this funding is to identify the needs of communities without licensed child care programs and strengthen those with licensed child care programs. It is anticipated that this will result in an increased amount of quality, flexible, and appropriate child care spaces in Yukon. Additionally, as heard through Phase 1 of engagement, Yukon expects that this funding will better position some First Nation governments to apply for additional funding areas including Enhancement Funding, Start Up Funding, and other initiatives supported through this agreement. All 14 First Nations in the Yukon are expected to benefit from this funding.

Start Up Fund ($60,000 over three years)

Currently there is a set amount of funding available for new programs to access supports in the form of $1,000 for new family day homes in Whitehorse and $2,000 in communities to meet regulatory requirements for licensing. New child care centres receive up to $10,000 for identified health and safety requirements. This funding will provide additional support for new licensed child care programs to open in underserved Yukon areas and rural communities, as well as programs that offer flexible, non-traditional child care hours. This support will increase accessibility of early learning and child care spaces and will promote rural sustainability. This funding is expected to support the creation of two new centres and approximately 40 early learning and child care spaces.

Two new child care centres will be opened in communities currently without child care programs, resulting in the creation of 40 new child care spaces.

3. Innovation

Total investment over 3 years: $432,200

As a smaller jurisdiction, Yukon has the ability to implement and test innovative practices as a way of ensuring that early learning and child care programming is as impactful for families and communities as possible. Under this section, Yukon will invest funds to ensure that all Yukon families and all Yukon children have opportunities to grow their experiences from the ages of 0-5. This area will address gaps including child care for parents attending addictions treatment and further addressing the needs of children with varying abilities.

Actions to achieve these objectives include:

Intensive treatment child care spaces ($222,200 over three years)

This innovative funding will reserve and pay for nine flexible child care spaces, accessible year round, three spaces in each Whitehorse, Watson Lake, and Dawson City for children whose parents are attending or accessing addictions treatment. This may include land based healing programs or live-in addictions programming. This funding will complement the changing nature of addictions treatment options available in Yukon. Officials from Child Care Services Unit have been working with Alcohol and Drug Services officials to identify barriers to treatment. This innovative service will meet a unique need for parents who have been unable to access intensive treatment due to the lack of child care services. This funding will increase care for vulnerable children in Yukon and will remove a barrier to parents who may want to seek support but have constraints because of child care needs.

It is anticipated that a total of nine child care spaces will be created, three spaces in Whitehorse, Watson Lake, and Dawson City respectively to provide early childhood education programs to children whose parents are accessing addition treatment programs.

Handle with Care ($210,000 over three years)

The Handle with Care project began in 2002 with collaboration between Bonnie Pape at the national office of the Canadian Mental Health Association and Nancy Cohen at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre in Toronto. The initial project, funded by Human Resources and Social Development Canada, focused on identifying strategies for child care practitioners. The project had two products: a summary of recent literature (Handle with Care: Strategies for Promoting the Mental Health of Young Children in Community Based Child Care) and a bilingual resource booklet for child care practitioners, with strategies drawn from evidence-based practices, and actual examples from child care centres across the country. This funding will expand Handle with Care programming in rural Yukon. This initiative will allow staff trained in facilitating the Handle with Care program to offer training to both ECE workers in licensed child care centres as well as parents utilizing licensed child care. This training is currently not offered to ECEs working in rural communities. In doing so ECEs will be better trained to identify attachment issues, mental health concerns and strive to create a learning environment that is responsive a child's unique needs. Handle with Care is a simple, interactive program to help parents and caregivers, including those who work in early learning and child care settings, to promote the mental health of young children from 0-5. This innovative program will increase the quality, inclusivity, and rural sustainability of child care in Yukon communities, in particular those with particular risks or challenges.

This initiative is expected to increase access to the Handle with Care program by 15%.

4. Providing Inclusive Child Care Programs

Total investment over 3 years: $1,150,000

Inclusive child care programming is a foundational pillar of Yukon communities. Yukon has heard from non-government organizations that there is a gap in rural service delivery for developmental assessment programs and support for children with varying abilities. Investments under this area will ensure that programming is available to Yukon’s most in need, including children with varying abilities.

Additionally, funding will be made available to invest in tools that help better support early identification of developmental concerns. This will allow a child’s support system to provide the appropriate services at the right time, giving them the best start possible.

This funding will enable children and families to receive assessment and support services in their communities.

Actions to achieve these objectives include:

Supportive Child Care Program and Programming for Licensed Child Care Centers ($1,110,000 over three years)

This program supports children in licensed child care to participate to their fullest potential. This program targets children with special needs ages 0-5 and ensures inclusive programming is available to all Yukon families. Currently the program offers support to licensed child care programs by providing funding to support children with identified special needs as identified in an individual program plan. These supports can include one-to-one support, reduced ratios support, specialized equipment, and training for staff. Additional funding will be provided to expand the current Supported Child Care Program in Yukon and is anticipated to benefit up to five children with identified special needs.

Funding will also be provided to provide support to licensed child care centers in the area of developmentally appropriate environments, and managing challenging behaviors in children. The Child Development Centre will work in partnership with child care centers to provide consultation on group dynamic behavior and prevention as well as collaboration to evaluate the environment and potential effects on a child's behavior.

This funding is expected to benefit five additional children with identified challenging behaviors.

Ages and Stages Online & Training ($40,000 over three years)

The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) is a parent-completed questionnaire that may be used as a general developmental screening tool. The ASQ was designed and developed by J. Squires and D. Bricker at the University of Oregon and can be completed by parents in 12-18 minutes. The ASQ-3 is a parent reported initial level developmental screening instrument consisting of 21 intervals, each with 30 items in five areas: personal social, gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and communication for children from 2-66 months. In most cases, these questionnaires accurately identify young children who are in need of further evaluation to determine if they are eligible for early intervention services.

Funding will be allocated to train licensed early learning and child care workers in the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). This will allow them to identify possible developmental concerns and make appropriate referrals to ensure that children receive flexible and appropriate supports and services. This type of training is currently not available to ECEs in licensed child care programs. In offering this training, ECEs will be equipped to identify a child's developmental opportunities, make appropriate referrals, and provide programming and supports to respond better to the child’s identified needs.

Funding will be allocated to make free, online ASQ Questionnaires, available to Yukon families and other community members supporting families with children ages 0-5 and to train the local ECE workforce on the ASQ. This will better help families and ECE operators understand the needs of children and will increase the quality of care as well as ensure that children who need additional services receive appropriate and flexible programming through licensed child care centres. Given the Yukon government’s work to address the high rate of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) in Yukon, this funding will complement work currently underway at the community level and will empower parents and operators to better understand children’s needs. This will specifically impact families most in need. This initiative will make the ASQ Questionnaires available to all Yukon families and it is anticipated that the majority of Yukon families will use the questionnaire as a resource.

Administration

Total investment over 3 years: $360,000

In order to implement the bilateral agreement, Yukon will allocate annual funding for administration of the Bilateral Agreement and action plan. This funding will be used to prepare reports and audits required under the agreement. Additionally, this funding will enable Yukon government to work with partners to better develop qualitative and quantitative indicators to track impact and progress of investments under this agreement in early learning and child care in Yukon. Overall, this will further all areas agreed to in the Framework by better understanding the state of early learning and child care in the territory. This will allow for improved policy, programming and guidelines for licensed child care operations ultimately increasing the five principles of the Framework and overall best practices.

Table 1 – Financial overview of recommended action plan
Year 1 (2017-2018) Year 2 (2018-2019) Year 3 (2019-2020)
Improving quality through training $100,000 $300,000 $250,000
Improving affordability and accessibility $1,450,000 $1,408,556 $1,458,556
Innovation $87,000 $172,600 $172,600
Providing inclusive child care programs $370,000 $390,000 $390,000
Administration $120,000 $120,000 $120,000
Carry forward to next Fiscal $264,493 Nil Nil
Total $2,391,493 $2,391,156 $2,391,156
Indicators and targets
Activity Principles Indicators Data currently available Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
1) Improving quality through training
Professional development High quality Number and proportion of ECE’s completing professional development Yes TBD Yes Yes
Curriculum development and Implementation High quality Inclusive Curriculum developed

Number of ECE workers trained

Number and proportion of providers adopting innovative tools such as an evidence-based curriculum framework
None TBD Yes Yes
Education bursaries High quality Number of ECEs receiving education bursaries

Number and proportion of providers with Early Childhood Education certification

Reduction in number of training exemptions approved
Yes TBD Yes Yes
Yukon college trainers High Quality Number of ECE workers in rural Yukon successfully completing coursework

Number of Yukon College trainers offering support in communities
No TBD Yes Yes
2) Improving Affordability and Accessibility
Direct operating grant High quality inclusive flexible affordable accessible Number of licensed child care centres that do not increase fees

Number and percentage of children who have access to licensed child care spaces
Limited TBD Yes Yes
Enhancement fund High quality affordable Number of licensed programs accessing funding through the Enhancement Fund and addressing non-compliances No TBD Yes Yes
Enrichment fund High quality Number of licensed programs accessing funding through the Enrichment Fund to increase quality and inclusivity of child care

Number of licensed child care centres testing for radon

Number of licensed child care centres starting premeditation
No TBD Yes Yes
Feasibility planning High quality Number of children benefiting from programs designed to serve children from the French language minority community Yes TBD Yes Yes
Grandparent grant High quality inclusive flexible Number of grandparents supported through the subsidy program

Number of children supported through the subsidy program
Yes TBD Yes Yes
First Nation partner funding High quality inclusive flexible accessible Number of First Nations completing work towards meeting the needs in their communities Number of children benefiting from licensed First Nation child care programming No TBD Yes Yes
Start up funding High quality accessible Number and percentage of children who have access to regulated child care spaces No TBD Yes Yes
3) Innovation
Intensive treatment childcare space High quality inclusive accessible flexible Number of spaces made available to parents / guardians No TBD Yes Yes
Handle with care High quality Number of trained facilitators

Number of sessions offered
No TBD Yes Yes
4) Providing inclusive child care programs
Supported child care program High quality inclusive Number of children with additional support needs participating in early learning and child care programs No TBD Yes Yes
Supportive programming for licensed child care centres High quality Inclusive Number of ECE’s mentored by the Child Development Centre No TBD Yes Yes
ASQ training High quality inclusive innovative Number of ECE’s trained in ASQ None TBD Yes Yes

Targets

For each of the program indicators that are components of Yukon’s bilateral agreement with the Government of Canada regarding improvements to early learning and child care (ELCC) strategies, performance targets have been set. How Yukon’s ELCC enhanced programs and new innovative strategies perform in relation to these targets will form a core part of Yukon’s annual report to the Federal government on its commitments outlined in the bilateral agreement.

The following targets are notional and adjustments may be required as the various funding initiatives progress and negotiations with First Nation governments and other stakeholders regarding appropriate target achievement and reporting benchmarks are set.

Professional development:

It is anticipated that 60% of Yukon ECEs, approximately 132 educators, will attend the professional training event.

Curriculum development and training:

It is anticipated that 100% of ELCC centres will implement the new curriculum with approximately 960 children benefiting from its adoption. This is based on a Yukon Government proposed requirement that all registered childhood centers in Yukon implement the curriculum.

Education bursaries:

An additional 10 students, supplemental to the 27 students funded in the academic year 2016-2017, will be able to access education bursaries as a result of increased funding for students from rural communities. This represents a 37% increase in rural students accessing education bursaries.

Yukon College Trainers:

It is anticipated that the number of ECEs trained at Yukon College, 220 in the academic year 2016-2017, will increase by 8 students to 230 for the school year 2017-2018.

Direct Operating Grant:

It is anticipated that 90% of child care centers will maintain fee schedules without increases in costs to parents. This percentage is aspirational and will be measureable after a costing of child care program fees baseline is established and tracking of changes in those fees monitored on a scheduled time frame.

It is anticipated that 18 early child care spaces may be created as a result of increased funding of the Direct Operating Grant.

Enhancement grant:

It is anticipated that 100% of ELCC centers will meet regulatory requirements related to health and safety standards. This will benefit approximately 960 children.

Enrichment fund:

It is anticipated that 100% of child care centers will access funding through the new Enrichment fund. This will benefit approximately 960 children.

Feasibility planning:

It is anticipated that at least 30 additional French language child care spaces will be identified as a need in Yukon. This figure is based on consultations with stakeholders in the French language communities in Yukon during the development of this action plan. It is anticipated that any additional support to 20 families not accessing licensed child care will be supported through the monies allocated to the French ECE position enabling children to access some supports in French as their first language while awaiting spaces in French as first language licensed child care.

Grandparent Grant:

It is anticipated that there will be an increase of 25% in grandparents, and through their grant applications a similar increase in children under their primary care, benefiting from increased access to grants under this program. This could result in approximately five to eleven dependents (depending on sibling groupings) benefitting from this initiative.

First Nation government funding:

Reports from First Nation governments detailing their early learning and child care needs will be completed on timelines agreeable to those governments. Investments in funding initiatives for future early education and child care programs for First Nations governments will be considered as report findings are finalized. Measurements to capture relevant data from enhanced or new programs for early childhood education as a result of these consultations will be developed and reported on as appropriate.

Start-up funding:

Two new child care centers will be opened in communities currently without child care programs. It is anticipated that this will result in the creation of 40 child care spaces.

Intensive treatment childcare space:

It is anticipated that nine child care spaces will be created, three in Whitehorse, Watson Lake, and Dawson City respectively to provide early childhood education programs to children whose parents are accessing addiction treatment programs.

Handle with care:

Handle with Care is currently being offered in Yukon through federal grants that will expire in the near future. This action plan initiative will provide funding to continue this highly valued program to parents of children attending licensed childcare.

It is anticipated that the number of parents whose children are attending licensed child care will benefit from this program will increase by 15% given an increase in funding for this program.

Given it is a new initiative for parents with children involved in licensed child care programs a realistic measurement will be available once an initial baseline is established.

This is based on consultations with the Yukon Child Development Center (CDC) which is the primary resource for training and delivery of Handle with Care programs in Yukon.

Supportive Child Care Program and Programming for licensed child care centers:

There are currently 25 children with special needs receiving support through this existing program. An additional 5 child care spaces will be created through funding through this action plan.

ASQ training:

In Yukon this new initiative will have trainers from the CDC providing training to licensed child care providers on the ASQ tool. This will allow for an increase in knowledge of ages and stages of development of children ages 0-5 for those ECE’s who are working daily with the children in their programs. An aspirational measurement of a 10% increase in trained ECE staff will need to be confirmed, or revised as ASQ benchmarks are established between HSS and CDC.

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