The Government of Canada and the Government of Nunavut sign a bilateral agreement on early learning and child care
More spaces, professional development opportunities and focus on Nunavut’s official languages
September 20, 2017 Iqaluit, Nunavut
The Government of Canada is making significant investments in early learning and child care systems to improve the lives of Canadian children and their families. Today, on behalf of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Adam Vaughan, the Parliamentary Secretary and the Honourable Paul Aarulaaq Quassa, Minister of Education, announced a three-year bilateral agreement that reaffirms their commitment and support of the unique early learning and child care needs of Nunavut.
The agreement allocates just over $7 million, over three years, to Nunavut for early learning and child care investments. The territory`s funding will focus on early learning and child care programs and services to support parents, families, and communities to ensure the best possible future for children in the territory.
This announcement follows a historic agreement, made on June 12, 2017 by Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers Responsible for Early Learning and Child Care on a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. The Framework sets the foundation for governments to work towards a shared long-term vision where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care. The Framework principles include increasing the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility, and inclusivity of early learning and child care, with consideration for families that need child care the most.
The bilateral agreement is another step to help ensure that Nunavut children get the best start in life and is supported by long-term Government of Canada investments in early learning and child care announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017, totalling $7.5 billion over 11 years.
“The development of early learning and child care systems is one of the best investments our government is making to strengthen Canadian families, society and the economy. Through the agreement signed with the Government of Nunavut, we will be able to better support parents, families and communities in their efforts to offer their children the best possible future.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“The Nunavut Department of Education believes in the positive outcomes associated with access to Early Learning and Child Care programs and services. This partnership sets the framework for our governments to work toward a shared long-term vision; one where all young Nunavummiut can have the best possible start in life, and allow them to reach their full potential.”
– The Honourable Paul Aarulaaq Quassa, Minister of Education
Federal Budgets 2016 and 2017 proposed to invest $7.5 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017-2018, to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country, particularly for families more in need. Of this investment:
o $95 million will go towards closing data gaps to better understand what child care looks like in Canada and track progress;
o $100 million will go towards early learning and child care innovation; and
o a portion will be dedicated to strengthening culturally appropriate early learning and child care for Indigenous children.
The federal government will work with each province and territory to enter into three-year bilateral agreements that will address the early learning and child care needs unique to its jurisdiction and funding allocation.
Through the bilateral agreements, the Government of Canada will provide provinces and territories with $1.2 billion, over the next three years, for early learning and child care programs. Governments will report annually on progress made in relation to the Framework and bilateral agreements.
The Department of Education has developed a three-year action plan that identifies four areas for further investment to fit within the parameters of the funding set by the Multilateral Framework. They are:
o Top-up funding to assist all licensed childcare facilities to help with operations and maintenance costs and as well as maintaining or lowering parental fees.
o Create child care spaces in underserved communities and re-open previously closed facilities.
o Territory-wide professional development in early learning and child care and financial literacy.
Programming resources and training to develop standardized language and culturally-based program material for facilities.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Jean Philippe Laprise
Department of Education
Government of Nunavut
For general information, please contact:
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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