Governments of Canada and the Northwest Territories are improving quality, accessibility and affordability of early learning and child care across the Northwest Territories

News release

Governments sign a bilateral agreement

March 29, 2018                                      Gatineau, Quebec     Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada is making significant investments in early learning and child care systems so that all Northwest Territories children will have the best start in life and develop to their fullest potential. Today, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Alfred Moses, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for the Northwest Territories, announced a bilateral agreement that reaffirms their commitment to and support of the unique early learning and child care needs of the Northwest Territories.

The agreement allocates more than $7 million, over three years, to the Northwest Territories for early learning and child care investments. The funding will support:

·        delivery of high-quality early learning and child care;

·        culturally relevant professional development and training for all staff working within licensed early childhood programs;

·        an increase in the number of qualified early childhood development professionals in licensed programs; and

·        access to early learning and child care opportunities within all communities in the Northwest Territories.

This announcement follows a historic agreement, made on June 12, 2017, by the Federal, Provincial and 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.

By taking care of our children today, we are growing and strengthening the middle class for years to come. The bilateral agreement 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, and is another step to help ensure that Northwest Territories children get the best start in life. 

Quotes

“This bilateral agreement acknowledges the successes achieved by our governments in developing the early learning and child care systems. With the investments allocated by the Government of Canada, the Government of the Northwest Territories will improve quality and access to early learning and child care, with particular consideration for small communities, including those that are currently without any licensed early childhood programs. Research shows that high-quality early learning and child care programs positively impact children’s development and that these programs make the most difference for vulnerable children.”
– The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“High-quality early learning and child care should be flexible and broadly available to respond to the varying needs of children and families. We believe all children in the Northwest Territories deserve the best possible care, nurturing and support right from the start so that they can grow up to become healthy and productive members of their communities and society.”
– Michael McLeod, Member of Parliament for Northwest Territories

“Healthy early childhood development is a priority for the Government of the Northwest Territories, as it is for communities and families across the North. We are working to ensure we have the most responsive programs, services and opportunities available for families and children, right from the start. This agreement with the Government of Canada moves us closer to our shared vision, where all children in the Northwest Territories can access the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care programming.”
– The Honourable Alfred Moses, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment for the Northwest Territories

Quick facts

  • Federal Budgets 2016 and 2017 proposed to invest $7.5 billion over 11 years, starting in 2017–18, 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 child care challenges and needs 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 is working with each province and territory to enter into three-year bilateral agreements that will address the early learning and child care needs unique to each jurisdiction and funding allocation. Bilateral agreements with 10 other provinces and territories have been announced: British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and Yukon.

  • 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.

  • A separate Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework is being co-developed with Indigenous partners to reflect the unique cultures and needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and families.

  • The Northwest Territories action plan is built on the four main priority areas, aligning with the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework. Over the next three years, funding will support measures including:

    o   $2.4 million in increased funding to existing day homes and day care centres based on each child that attends, including full day rate for school-aged children on PD days, supporting as many as 59 licensed programs;

    o   $1.5 million for the delivery of a new two-year Early Learning and Child Care Diploma through Aurora College that will increase the number of qualified early child educators in the territory. As many as 25 students could benefit from this new program;

    o   $1.2 million for additional professional development and training for all early child educators, benefitting as many as 220 staff working in licensed programs;

    o   $350,000 to support opening up to 100 new child care spaces in licensed family day homes and day care centres;

    o   $360,000 for health and safety projects in up to 28 existing and new centre-based programs and for new family day homes during the start-up phase; and

    o   20 new annual scholarships of $5,000 each for students studying early childhood development at the diploma level or higher.

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Associated links

Contacts

Émilie Gauduchon-Campbell
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
819-654-5546

Pam Coulter
Senior Communications Advisor
Department of Education, Culture and Employment
Government of the Northwest Territories
867-767-9352 x71031

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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