The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario announce additional support for quality early learning and child care across the province
September 3, 2020 Toronto, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada
The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are working closely together to ensure families have access to the affordable, high quality and safe early learning and child care opportunities their children need to succeed.
Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education, announced additional support for early learning and child care through the one-year Canada–Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
The agreement allocates nearly $147 million in 2020–21 for early learning and child care investments in Ontario. Considering the ongoing extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 crisis, Ontario will allocate funding under this agreement to short-term measures aimed at minimizing the impacts of the outbreak on Ontario’s early learning and child care system. In particular, the province will help fund the operating costs of eligible licensed child care providers and EarlyON centres. This initiative is aligned with both Ontario’s sustainability plan and child care re-opening plan, which will continue to support children, child care partners and staff.
This agreement builds on the shared commitments made in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework and outlines Ontario’s unique child care needs and priorities, including those resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak. It will ensure this funding continues to be available to support child care programs and services for Ontario families in 2020–21.
In addition, the Government of Canada recently announced $625 million to address the reduced availability of child care and the unique needs stemming from the pandemic across Canada with the Safe Restart Agreement. This year, the Government of Canada will invest nearly $1.2 billion in total in early learning and child care across Canada.
“Child care is not a convenience, it is a necessity. High-quality early learning experiences are essential to the intellectual, emotional and physical development of our children. The Government of Canada is pleased to continue working with the Government of Ontario to ensure that all children and families in Ontario have equal access to the quality early learning and child care they need to succeed.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
"We are investing more in child care to ensure it is safe, accessible and affordable for working moms and dads. This agreement will ensure funding continues to flow so that child care remains available to parents as they return to work today and into the future.”
– The Honourable Stephen Lecce, Ontario’s Minister of Education
For Canadian families, high-quality, affordable child care is more than a convenience—it’s a necessity. The Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario are ensuring that every child gets the best possible start in life.
The federal government entered into bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories to provide them with $1.2 billion over three years for early learning and child care programs, starting in 2017–18.
These important investments in early learning and child care helped to create close to 40,000 more affordable child care spaces nationally prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The federal government is now working with each jurisdiction to negotiate bilateral agreements that will provide $400 million in 2020–21. This funding will continue to support the early learning and child care sector and will build on previous success.
The Government of Ontario is committed to increasing access to affordable and inclusive, high quality child care, particularly for lower-income families, Indigenous families, lone-parent families, families in underserved communities, parents working non-standard hours and families with children with varying abilities.
The Government of Ontario recognizes the many challenges that the COVID-19 outbreak has created for the child care sector and will allocate funding under this agreement to support reopening.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
Office of the Honourable Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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