Backgrounder: CANADA–YUKON EARLY LEARNING AND CHILD CARE AGREEMENT
CANADA–YUKON EARLY LEARNING AND CHILD CARE AGREEMENT
On June 12, 2017, 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 Yukon have signed an early learning and child care bilateral agreement. Through this bilateral agreement, the Government of Yukon will receive just over $7 million over three years.
The Yukon Action Plan supports four main areas of investment over three years, which align with the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. They are:
o Enhancing the quality of early learning and child care services by:
- providing professional development opportunities and learning materials for 132 Early Childhood Educators,
- implementing a new culturally and developmentally appropriate curriculum across all ELCC centres benefitting approximately 960 children;
- providing enhancement grants to all ELCC centres to meet regulatory requirements related to health and safety standards; and,
o Improving the affordability and accessibility of early learning and child care by:
- supporting 90% of children care centres through the Direct Operating Grant, to maintain fees without increases in costs to parents; and, by providing additional child care subsidy supports for grandparents.
- establishing two new child care centres in communities currently without child care programs, creating 40 new child care spaces;
o Testing and implementing innovative practices. These would include offering 9 flexible child care spaces for children with parents suffering from addiction, and offering Handle with Care training to child care providers to promote the mental health of young children.
o Improving inclusive child care programming for children who are most in need and who have varying abilities by:
- providing additional child care spaces for 5 children with special needs;
- improving the early detection of developmental concerns;
- undertaking a feasibility study on Francophone ELCC needs in Yukon.
By the end of the three-year agreement, this funding will:
o support eight Early Childhood Educators to complete the two-year diploma program through Yukon College;
o provide education bursaries to 10 students from rural communities;
o provide additional child care subsidy supports for grandparents, which will increase by 25 percent the number of grandparents that have access to additional support, and will result in a similar increase in children under their primary care.
o create up to 18 new child care spaces in key age areas by providing additional funding to child care centres through the Direct Operating Grant.
o improve the early detection of developmental concerns by increasing by 10 percent the number of Early Childhood Educators who will be trained using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire Tool; and
o provide funding to Yukon First Nation governments to better understand the early learning and child care needs of their citizens and better position some First Nation governments to apply for additional funding.
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