Bilateral agreement will ensure child care is safe, accessible and affordable
TORONTO — Today, Stephen Lecce, Minister of Education, and Ahmed Hussen, Federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, announced an additional investment through the one-year Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement (ELCC) of nearly $147 million to Ontario for 2020-21. This funding will help licensed child care providers and EarlyON child and family centres.
In 2020-21, ELCC funding supported measures to minimize the impacts of COVID-19. It will also continue to support initiatives outlined in the initial three-year agreement, including increased access for families and professional learning for staff. Funding provided through the ELCC is in addition to $234.6 million being provided through the Safe Restart Agreement to keep children and staff safe in child care and early years settings.
“We are investing more in child care to ensure it is safe, accessible and affordable for working moms and dads,” said Minister Lecce. “This agreement will ensure funding continues to flow so that child care remains available to parents as they return to work today and into the future.”
During the closure and reopening periods, provincial funding was available to all child care operators to help them remain financially sustainable following the COVID-19 outbreak. Ontario also fully funded emergency child care for health care and other frontline workers during the closure period, and protected parents by preventing child care fees from being charged where care was not provided.
“Child care is not a convenience, it is a necessity. High-quality early learning experiences are essential to the intellectual, emotional and physical development of our children,” said Minister Hussen. “The Government of Canada is pleased to continue working with the Government of Ontario to ensure that all children and families in Ontario have equal access to the quality early learning and child care they need to succeed.”
This is an additional investment through the Early Learning and Child Care Agreement between the federal government and Ontario that was signed in 2017. It builds on commitments made in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework that was signed by all of the provinces and territories.
- There are over 5,500 child care centres and 124 licensed home child care agencies across Ontario.
- As of September 1, 2020, licensed child care centres are permitted to operate at full capacity. More information about reopening protocols and guidelines.
- The government is investing up to $1 billion over five years to create up to 30,000 licensed child care spaces in schools, including 10,000 spaces in new schools.
- Under the initial ELCC agreement, the federal government allocated $439 million to Ontario over three years, from 2017-20.
- The Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework is guided by the principles of providing high quality child care, accessibility, affordability, flexibility and inclusivity.