Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care

The Government of Canada is working with provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners to build a Canada-wide, community-based system of quality child care, so all families have access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early learning and child care no matter where they live.

About the Secretariat

The Federal Secretariat on Early Learning and Child Care was announced in the federal government’s 2020 Fall Economic Statement to build capacity within the government and engage stakeholders to provide child care policy analysis to support a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) system. The Federal Secretariat brings together governments, experts, and stakeholders to collaborate in designing and implementing a Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system.

The Secretariat:

Creating a Canada-wide ELCC system

The Government of Canada is investing in early learning and child care to help Canadian children get the best start in life.

  • Budget 2016 and Budget 2017 proposed a total of $7.5 billion over 11 years
  • Budget 2021 commits up to $30 billion over 5 years, and combined with previous investments announced since 2015, $9.2 billion every year thereafter, permanently

The federal funding for provinces and territories is intended to achieve:

  • a 50% reduction in average fees for regulated learning and child care in all provinces and territories outside of Quebec, by the end of 2022
  • an average of $10 a day by 2025 to 2026 for all regulated child care spaces in Canada
  • ongoing annual growth in quality affordable child care spaces across the country, building on the approximately 40,000 new spaces already created through previous federal investments
  • working with provinces and territories to support primarily not-for-profit sector child care providers to grow spaces across the country while ensuring that families in all licensed spaces benefit from more affordable child care
  • a growing, qualified ELCC workforce—by valuing the work of early childhood educators and providing them with the training and development opportunities needed to support their growth
  • a strong basis for accountability to Canadians—the government will work with provincial and territorial partners to build a strong baseline of common, publicly available data on which to measure progress, report to Canadians, and help continuously improve the system

This work builds on the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework that was developed with provinces and territories and the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework that was co-developed with Indigenous partners.

What we are doing

Frameworks and agreements


All related publications

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