Helping Indigenous families in Winnipeg benefit from innovative early learning and child care practices 

News release

June 27, 2022               Winnipeg, Manitoba                 Employment and Social Development Canada

The early learning and child care sector is evolving in increasingly complex and challenging environments. Identifying innovative practices and solutions that better meet the needs of children and families will improve early learning and child care for the benefit of families in Canada.

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, announced funding to the University of Winnipeg Foundation for their project with the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association Day Care. The funding is being provided through the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program.

The project is receiving a total of $331,287 in federal funding over 24 months, starting in April 2022. The project will focus on exploring, testing and developing a safe outdoor play area for optimal Indigenous culturally appropriate learning and programming for children and their families, while delivering Indigenous professional development training for staff.

The Government of Canada is aiming to support the improvement of early learning and child care service delivery for all Canadian families and their children. This project will help develop a better understanding of the changing nature of the early learning and child care sector. The results achieved will contribute to a pool of knowledge and expertise, such as best practices, tools, models and approaches that will have the potential to be replicated, scaled and adapted in other communities and regions across Canada.

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has delivered real improvements to make life more affordable coast to coast to coast, including making a historic investment of up to $30 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system in collaboration with provincial, territorial and Indigenous partners. This investment allows governments to work together toward achieving an average parent fee of $10 a day by March 2026 for all licensed child care spaces, starting with a 50% reduction in average fees for regulated early learning and child care spaces by the end of 2022.

Quotes

“Innovative practices can help develop solutions that better meet the needs of Indigenous children across Canada. Strengthening high-quality, culturally appropriate child care and programming are crucial to respecting and responding to the unique needs of Indigenous children so they can have the best possible start in life.”

– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould

“The University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) Day Care provides an essential service to students, faculty, staff and community members who have young children. The generous funding from the Government of Canada will allow us to improve the outdoor infrastructure of the day care and also make good in our shared commitment to meaningful action on Truth and Reconciliation. The University of Winnipeg Foundation is proud to be part of this project in support of the UWSA Day Care.”

– President and CEO of the University of Winnipeg Foundation, Javier Schwersensky

Quick facts

  • The Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program supports the exploration, testing and development of innovative approaches to support access for children and families to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services across the country.

  • The call for proposals for these early learning and child care innovation projects ran from October 20, 2020, to January 7, 2021.

  • In recognition of Quebec’s leadership role in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada is working toward an agreement with the Province to ensure early learning and child care innovation funding is available for Quebec-based projects.

  • Budgets 2016 and 2017 provided funding of $7.5 billion over 11 years for early learning and child care. Of this amount, $100 million is being dedicated to the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program.

  • Investments in early learning and child care will benefit everyone across Canada. Studies show that for every dollar invested in early childhood education, the broader economy receives between $1.50 and $2.80 in return.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:

Mohammad Hussain
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
mohammad.a.hussain@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca

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