Families in Canada to benefit from innovative early learning and child care practices
July 4, 2023 Vancouver, British Columbia Employment and Social Development Canada
The early learning and child care sector continues to evolve in increasingly complex and challenging environments. Identifying innovative practices and solutions that better address the essential needs of children, families, and early childhood educators (ECEs) is key to continuing to improve early learning and child care services across Canada.
Today, Parliamentary Secretary, Ya’ara Saks, on behalf of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould, announced funding for two projects through the Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program.
The University of British Columbia is receiving a total of $239,765 in federal funding over 24 months, effective January 2023, for their project titled Professional Development for ELCC Workers Through an Indigenous-ECE Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). This project focuses on providing early childhood educators with professional development opportunities to receive training on incorporating Indigenous perspectives, worldviews and pedagogies into early learning and child care environments through the development of an online course. The goal is that by widely offering this free online training across Canada, more ECEs will have these critical skills. This means that more Indigenous families and children will have access to affordable, culturally appropriate early learning and child care.
The Government of Canada is also investing $241,105 over 24 months to support the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC’s project, Exploring the provision of flexible child care within BC’s new universal child care system project, effective March 1, 2023. This project will be conducting research by gathering knowledge, reviewing existing methodologies and tools, assessing child care operating models and reporting on the needs for flexible child care options as an innovative approach to better support families working non-standard hours in British Columbia. This research aims to address the real challenges that parents working non-standard hours face in finding and maintaining reliable, affordable child care that meets their needs. It will ensure that, as governments build their affordable child care systems, the needs of those parents are considered and built into the system from the start.
Building an inclusive Canada-wide early learning and child care system for children and families from diverse populations in every region of the country is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to make life more affordable for families while also creating good jobs and growing the economy. The early childhood education workforce is critical to the success of a Canada-wide system and is key to Canada’s economic prosperity.
“Innovative practices can help develop solutions that better meet the needs of children across the country. These projects will strengthen high-quality child care and programming so all children can have the best possible start in life.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
“With generous funding from Employment and Social Development Canada, our project will be able to provide early childhood educators across Canada with professional development training in how to incorporate Indigenous perspectives, worldviews and pedagogies into early learning and child care (ELCC) environments. Through this training, not only are we able to further implement Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Call to Action to develop culturally appropriate early childhood education programs for Aboriginal families, we are able to create safe and supportive learning environments, programs and services for all children.”
– Dr. Jan Hare, Dean (pro tem), Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia
“With funding from Employment and Social Development Canada, the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC embarks on a 2-year project to assess, and detail the need for flexible child care options within the expanding $10aDay child care system in British Columbia. Flexible child care options are necessary to support families working non-standard hours, outside of Monday to Friday 9am-5pm, including shift workers, and those working from home post-pandemic. The project will provide recommendations and models for an increased capacity to provide flexible child care options in BC.”
– Sara Langlois, Board Member, Coalition of Child Care Advocates of British Columbia
The Early Learning and Child Care Innovation Program supports innovative practices that strengthen the changing nature of early learning and child care.
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 results of this project 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.
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 early learning and child care innovation.
Investments in 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.
Office of the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Karina Gould
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