Call for proposals to help shape future of Indigenous early learning and child care 

News release

Applications accepted until April 14

March 4, 2021              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

For many, child care is a necessity. For Indigenous children, culturally appropriate early learning and child care can be a crucial part of childhood development. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to promoting and investing in Indigenous-led early learning and child care to ensure all First Nations, Inuit and Métis children have the foundation they need to succeed in life.

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, highlighted a call for proposals for the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Quality Improvement Projects. This call for proposals is targeted towards First Nations (on and off reserve), Inuit, and Métis peoples, governments and organizations and will support new approaches to Indigenous governance, coordination and delivery of culturally appropriate early learning and child care. The results achieved through these projects will contribute to a pool of knowledge and expertise, such as best practices, models and innovation, to improve the early learning and child care services available to Indigenous communities.

The Government of Canada is providing $9.25 million over two years in available funding, starting in 2021–22, for research and innovation projects through this call for proposals.

Priority areas were identified through engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners. Based on their feedback, proposals should focus on the following key themes:

  • development of a vision or framework for a high-quality, culturally appropriate early learning and child care system;
  • activities to build and strengthen local child care licensing rules and procedures;
  • actions to support ongoing education and training for early learning and child care leaders, management and staff; and
  • new tools, curriculum or training to support staff working with children with special needs.

Additional consideration will also be given to projects that include partnerships with academic institutions or Indigenous organizations involved in skills and employment training. Initiatives for language revitalization may be included as an element of proposed projects.

Indigenous communities, governments and organizations are encouraged to submit a proposal by April 14 at 2:00 p.m. EDT. Virtual information sessions in both official languages will be held on March 24 to help applicants apply. Those interested in participating are invited to send an email to EDSC.AGJEA.PAQ-QIP.IELCC.ESDC@servicecanada.gc.ca with their preferred official language and any request for accommodations. 

Quotes

“Access to high-quality early learning and child care that takes into account their cultures, languages, traditions, values and customs, is essential for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and families. The Quality Improvement Projects will help shape the future of Indigenous early learning and child care, providing children with a solid foundation for future success.”
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen

“Culturally-relevant early learning and child care programs play a critical role in creating connections for First Nations, Inuit and Métis children and families, to their communities, cultures and languages. Today’s announcement demonstrates our commitment to ensuring every Indigenous child grows up immersed in their culture and ready to reach their full potential.”
– Minister of Indigenous Services, Marc Miller

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Quality Improvement Projects aim to advance the vision and goals of the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework through research and innovation.

  • As part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Canada is providing an additional $120.7 million to help Indigenous early learning and child care facilities safely operate. The investment will support over 35,000 First Nations, Inuit, and Métis children who access culturally relevant Indigenous early learning and child care programs. 

  • Funding of $75 million was also introduced in the Fall Economic Statement to improve the quality and accessibility of Indigenous child care programs. This funding will enable providers to take steps to improve the retention of Indigenous early childhood educators and offer more flexible and extended hours of care. 

  • Budget 2017 included up to $1.7 billion over 10 years, starting in 2018–19, to support the co-developed Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework and strengthen culturally appropriate early learning and child care programs for Indigenous children and families.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mikaela Harrison
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
mikaela.harrison@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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