From: Employment and Social Development Canada
Federal, provincial and territorial ministers most responsible for early learning and child care met today to discuss shared interests for early learning and child care systems across Canada to improve the lives of children and families. The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Brad Trivers, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning.
During the meeting, ministers highlighted their continued commitment to building early learning and child care systems, and noted the importance of the Government of Canada’s continuation of the existing commitment to invest $7.5 billion from 2017–18 to 2027–28 in early learning and child care. Most ministers noted the positive results that have been achieved from their joint investments and the impact it had in making affordable, high quality early learning and child care more accessible to families in Canada. Results to date suggest that 38,000 more affordable child care spaces have been created through federal investments, which is 95% of the March 2020 target of 40,000 spaces.
Ministers agreed that investments in early learning and child care systems across Canada can strengthen Canada’s society and economy. Ministers noted that many parents struggle to balance work and child care responsibilities. To ensure that children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of inclusive quality early learning and child care, ministers discussed the importance of maintaining current federal child care investments. Ministers also agreed to begin discussions, in accordance with provincial and territorial priorities, on opportunities for partnership and collaboration on new federal commitments related to more affordable before- and after-school care, support for early childhood educators, and a new secretariat on early learning and child care.
Ministers agreed that a variety of perspectives on early learning and child care should be considered—including families, linguistic minority communities, early childhood educators and other experts—as federal, provincial and territorial governments look to implement the next generation of bilateral agreements while ensuring that important child care services are provided to children and families are not impacted. The priorities and perspectives of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Nation communities on the new federal commitments will also be sought. Ministers agreed to continue working together to disseminate information to Canadians on the positive impacts of their joint investments in early learning and child care.
While the government of Quebec supports the general principles of the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, it does not adhere to the Framework as it intends to preserve its sole responsibility in this area on its territory. *Due to unforeseen circumstances, there were no representatives from Newfoundland and Labrador and the Northwest Territories at the meeting.