Yesterday, the Canadian Federal government announced an agreement on a Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework to make enhancements to provincial and territorial early learning and child care systems.
Two provinces were not present: Quebec, which has its own provincial childcare program in place; B.C., given the post-election procedures in British Columbia, was unable to participate in the meeting.
About the Framework
This Framework sets the foundation for governments to work towards a shared long term vision where all children across Canada can experience the enriching environment of quality early learning and child care. Governments have committed to increase the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility, and inclusivity in early learning and child care, with consideration for families that need child care the most.
The implementation of this Framework will be supported by Government of Canada investments announced in Budgets 2016 and 2017 totaling $7.5 billion over 11 years to support and create more high-quality, affordable child care across the country.
In the coming months, the federal government will work with each province and territory to enter into three-year bilateral agreements that will outline their unique early learning and child care needs to be addressed and the funding allocation for each jurisdiction. Through the bilateral agreements the Government of Canada will provide provinces and territories with $1.2 billion over the next three years for early learning and child care programs. Governments will report annually on progress made in relation to the Framework and bilateral agreements.
The Framework will complement the development of a separate Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Framework between the Government of Canada with Indigenous partners that will reflect the unique cultural needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis children across Canada. Provinces and territories expressed their openness to collaborate in supporting these efforts.
The province currently led by Premier Christy Clark’s Liberal Party has not released a statement.
John Horgan, the leader of the NDP, reldased the following statement:
“Today’s announcement is good for British Columbia families, and a step toward implementing our plan to address the child care crisis in British Columbia.
“British Columbians can’t afford to wait any longer for a new government that works for people. This is one more reason why people voted for change this election.
“Like people across B.C., I look forward to forming a stable government as soon as possible, so we can get going on important issues like childcare, and building a better B.C..
“We look forward to meeting with the federal minister as the new BC government, to put our plan in action.”
“We endorse the $10 a day childcare plan – a plan built by experts in the field, endorsed by local governments, economists, business, and more.”