Families in Canada to benefit from innovative early learning and child care practices

News release

October 11, 2022         Sudbury, Ontario             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 is necessary to improving early learning and child care practices for the benefit of families in Canada.

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, was at Collège Boréal in Sudbury to announce funding for a total of 16 projects that aim to improve the quality, accessibility, affordability, inclusivity and flexibility of early learning and child care programs and services across Canada.

The announced funding includes $506,339 to the Carrefour francophone de Sudbury for their Action Research and Model Transfer: Forest Preschool project, which aims to provide children aged 5 and under in early childhood centres with an ecology-focused learning experience.

The 16 projects, funded through the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program, are receiving a total of $27.4 million in federal funding over three years, and will be completed by March 31, 2025. The call for proposals focused on projects that foster cutting-edge practices to support the changing nature of early learning and child care, placing a priority on projects that address the needs of families grappling with the impacts of the pandemic.

Additional consideration was given to projects promoting cultural diversity and inclusion and to projects primarily targeting children and families with unique child care needs. This includes Indigenous families, lower-income families, families with children with varying abilities, newcomer families, single-parent families, Black and other racialized families, families from official language minority communities, families working non-standard hours and families in underserved communities. Projects that support the next generation of early learning and child care leaders, such as researchers, practitioners and service providers, were also considered.

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. These projects will help develop a better understanding of the changing nature of early learning and child care, including innovative tools, models and approaches that have the potential to be replicated, scaled and adapted in other communities and regions across Canada.

Later in the day, the Minister will participate in a roundtable with parents at Discovery Early Learning and Childcare, who are seeing their child care fee reduced because of the Canada-wide early learning and child care system. Now, more than ever, increased access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care is crucial to building a system that meets the needs of children and makes life more affordable for Canadian families.

Quotes

“Early learning and child care systems must meet the needs of increasingly complex and challenging environments. Innovative practices can help develop solutions that better meet the complex needs of children and families, support an increased integration of services, and improve the quality of early learning and child care across the country.”

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

Quick facts

  • These projects aim to advance the goals of the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework through research and innovation. 

  • The Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program supports the exploration, testing and development of innovative approaches to support children and families’ access 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.

  • The scope of the projects are either local, regional or national, and they target the needs of children under 6 years of age and their families.

  • 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 that 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.

  • The Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years as part of Budget 2021 to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including in Indigenous early learning and child care, up to $30 billion over five years will be provided in support of early learning and child care.

  • 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.

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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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