Celebrating the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement with Ontario
March 28, 2023 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada
Child care is not just a social policy - it is an economic policy, too. Access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care will grow the economy, allow more women to enter the workforce and help give every child in Canada the best start in life. That is why the Government of Canada signed agreements with each province and territory to implement a Canada-wide early learning and child care system that will benefit children and families from coast-to-coast-to-coast.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, and Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, celebrated the one-year anniversary of the announcement of the Canada-Ontario Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Minister Gould also marked the one-year anniversary of the Government of Canada having signed agreements with every province and territory to deliver on its promise to build a high-quality Canada-wide early learning and child care system.
As part of the agreement with the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada is providing $10.2 billion through 2025-2026 to help improve licensed early learning and child care for children under six years of age in the province. Subject to the renewal of the Agreement, Ontario's estimated allocation would total $13.2 billion from 2021-2022 to 2026-2027. Through these investments, the governments of Canada and Ontario are working together to increase access to high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services, with the goal of ensuring that Ontario families have access to licensed child care for an average of $10-a-day by March 2026.
For licensed child care sites enrolled in the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, the Canada-Ontario agreement initially reduced licensed child care fees for children under the age of six by 25%, retroactive to April 1,2022. By the end of 2022, fees in participating licensed child care programs were further lowered, resulting in a total reduction of 50% on average compared to 2020 levels. This could save Ontario families an average of $6,000 to $10,000 per child per year moving forward, based on provincial savings scenarios.
Building a child care system that works for all families in every region of the country is a crucial step towards making life more affordable and growing the Canadian economy. Bolstered by the Canada-wide early learning and child care system, labour force participation for working-age women in Canada reached a record-high 85 per cent in 2022. With this one-year anniversary, the government is proud to celebrate the progress made and the positive impact it has had on families in Ontario and across Canada.
“It has been a year since signing the Canada-wide agreement with Ontario, and establishing a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. Parents and children in Ontario, and across the country, are already seeing the benefits from this system and we will continue to work to deliver high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care to families across Canada. Our government is committed to working with provinces and territories to achieve the shared goals we have made through the agreements to improve access to programs and services, create new spaces and grow a strong and well-supported workforce.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
“We are determined to save families more of their hard earned money, which is why we are proud to have reduced child care costs by roughly 50%. Ontario's government is committed to reducing fees that save parents up to $10,000 per year, while protecting choice for all families who live in small towns or large cities."
– Ontario’s Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce
Ontario signed its Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement on March 27, 2022.
The Government of Canada made a transformative investment of over $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with the provinces and territories. Combined with other investments, including investments 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.
The Government of Canada is working with provinces and territories to create approximately 250,000 new child care spaces across the country by the end of March 2026. These new licensed spaces will primarily be among not-for-profit, public and family-based child care providers.
As part of its Canada-wide agreement, Ontario has agreed to create 42,000 new spaces by the end of 2023, and a total of 86,000 new spaces by the end of 2026.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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