The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia announce an extension of support for quality early learning and child care across the province  

News release

August 13, 2021              Gatineau, Québec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia have reached an agreement on an extension to the Canada–British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

Through the agreement, the Government of Canada is providing over $272 million in funding over four years to British Columbia to improve access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services. In addition, the Government of Canada is making a one-time investment of  $48.8 million in 2021–2022 to support British Columbia’s early childhood educator recruitment and retention efforts.  

Under the 2021–2022 to 2024–2025 Canada–British Columbia Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, British Columbia will make child care more affordable, giving priority to facilities that offer care to infants and toddlers, and enhancing equity in child care through targeted investments to support Indigenous families and families with children with support needs. This four-year agreement ensures that funding will continue to be available to support child care programs and services for British Columbian families until March 2025.

Early childhood educators (ECEs) are critical to high-quality child care, and the Government of Canada is providing one-time additional funding to support British Columbia’s work to ensure ECEs are well supported and able to further their professional goals. The funding will help to improve access to ECE training programs, provide bursaries to hundreds of ECE students and provide incentives to early learning professionals to join the sector and upgrade their skills. 

These investments support the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia’s shared commitment to building an inclusive, universal child care system for British Columbian families. 

Quotes

“Child care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. High-quality early learning experiences are essential to the intellectual, emotional and physical development of our children. Our government will continue to fight for families and children in British Columbia to ensure they have access to high quality, affordable, accessible and inclusive child care, because every child deserves the best possible start in life.”

– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen

“Early childhood educators are the heart of our child care system and we can’t improve access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care for B.C. families without them.This additional investment from the Government of Canada will build on the progress we’ve already made through our Childcare BC plan to create an inclusive universal child care system with a well-supported early learning and child care  workforce.”

– British Columbia’s Minister of State for Child Care, Katrina Chen

“Access to affordable, quality and inclusive child care is one of the biggest barriers for women in achieving equal wages and employment opportunities. By enhancing early childhood educator recruitment and retention we are also supporting a predominantly female profession that has been hampered by low wages and high turnover rates for years. With support from the Government of Canada, we are building an inclusive universal child care system that can give parents—especially women—the opportunity to fully participate in the workforce and support our economy.”

– British Columbia’s Minister of Children and Family Development, Mitzi Dean

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia recently signed a new Canada– British Columbia Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which will provide British Columbia with an additional $3.2 billion in federal funding over the next five years, with a focus on supporting children under six years old.

  • Over the next three years (2021–22 to 2023–24), the Province will invest an additional $2.5 billion in  Childcare BC, its 10-year plan to deliver inclusive, universal child care to British Columbian families. 

  • The Government of Canada has invested over $207.4 million in early learning and child care in British Columbia since 2017. 

  • Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including investments in nearly 2,800 licensed child care spaces in British Columbia.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Hafsah Asadullah
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
Hafsah.asadullah@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

Preet Grewal
Ministry of Children and Family Development
Government Communications and Public Engagement
778-587-3237
Preet.grewal@gov.bc.ca

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