On June 12, 2017, the Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Early Learning and Child Care signed a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. This is a significant milestone in which governments agree to work together to address some of the key early learning and child care issues across the country.

Governments will work towards achieving the shared long-term vision of the Framework where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care. They have committed to increase the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity of early learning and child care with consideration for families that need child care the most.

The implementation of this framework, and a separate Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework to be co-developed with Indigenous peoples, is supported by federal investments announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017 totalling $7.5 billion over 11 years. Through bilateral agreements, the Government of Canada will provide provinces and territories with $1.2 billion over three years to address unique early learning and child care needs and allocate funding for each jurisdiction.

The governments of Canada and Nova Scotia have signed an early learning and child care bilateral agreement. Through this bilateral agreement, the Government of Nova Scotia will receive just over $35 million, over three years. Nova Scotia is committed to ensuring that children from birth to school entry, and their families, have increased access to comprehensive, integrated and culturally responsive early childhood development programs, resources and supports for healthy early childhood development and improved outcomes for all children.

By the end of the three-year agreement, this funding will:

  • ensure children experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care that supports children’s development to reach their full potential;

  • support the importance of qualifications and training for the early childhood workforce. Targets include but are not limited to:

  • 200 additional child care staff will complete an Early Childhood Education diploma;

  • 140 child care staff will complete the Recognition of Prior Learning Process and become recognized as trained;

  • 70 percent of Directors will have post-diploma training in leadership/management; and

  • at least 75 percent of staff within the regulated child care sector will benefit from access to standardized professional development opportunities.

  • support the delivery of early learning and child care programming in communities in need;

  • strengthen inclusion in early learning and child care environments. Targets include but are not limited to:

  • 100 individuals from Acadian/Francophone, African Nova Scotian, Indigenous, Immigrant and newcomer communities will benefit from bursaries to allow them to earn their Early Childhood Education diploma;

  • 100 percent of regulated centres that are eligible to access provincial funding will access the inclusion incentive, increasing this percentage from 60 percent that currently access funding for this purpose;

  • 100 percent of regulated providers that access the inclusion incentive will add play spaces, and/or use new tools and resources to enable them to adopt inclusive practices;

  • up to 100 additional children will have support through Early Childhood Development Intervention Services; and

  • 8 community-based coaches will be recruited to work directly with early childhood educators in regulated child care and early learning programs. Approximately 40 child care centres will be identified as Pyramid Model demonstration sites and 500 staff working in the demonstration sites will become fully trained.

  • acknowledge and recognize the importance of early learning and child care and its educators; and

  • support the recruitment and retention of staff from diverse populations.

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