MONCTON (GNB) – The federal and provincial governments have signed a three-year, bilateral early learning and child care agreement, under which the federal government will invest close to $30 million to improve early learning and child care for preschool-aged children in the province. The province will contribute $41 million for a total of $71 million.

Premier Brian Gallant and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the agreement today.

“Education and early childhood learning are some of the best investments we can make for the future prosperity of our economy,” said Gallant. “Providing more affordable and high-quality child care will strengthen families, the middle class, and the New Brunswick workforce of tomorrow.”

Under the agreement, the federal and provincial governments will work together to increase the quality, accessibility, affordability, flexibility, and inclusivity of early learning and child care programs and services. As a result, more spaces, including those for infants and toddlers, will be made available and fees will be lowered for families in need so their children can also benefit from high-quality learning environments.

Investments will transform at least 300 current child care providers into designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centres which will provide more quality spaces, have lower fee structures, and implement inclusion policies and guidelines for francophone minority communities. Funding will also be used to provide professional development opportunities for early child care educators and to support other initiatives to improve early learning and child care in the province.

Through bilateral agreements such as this one with New Brunswick, the federal government 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 Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework and bilateral agreements.

Backgrounder:

Canada-New Brunswick early learning and child care agreement

The governments of Canada and New Brunswick have signed a three-year, bilateral early learning and child care agreement, which will see the federal government invest close to $30 million to improve early learning and child care for preschool-aged children in the province. The province will contribute an additional $41 million for a total of $71 million.

This funding will be used to support initiatives that will improve early learning and child care in New Brunswick. For example, it will:

  • Transform at least 300 current child care providers into designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centres which will provide more affordable, accessible, inclusive and high-quality early learning and child care services.
  • Set a lower fee policy so families most in need can access high quality and affordable child care.
  • Provide more spaces for infants and toddlers to address gaps within both the anglophone and francophone communities.
  • Implement an inclusion policy for children facing diverse needs at designated New Brunswick Early Learning Centres.
  • Foster the vitality of Acadian and francophone communities through the development of guidelines for language acquisition and cultural identity.
  • Increase professional learning opportunities for all early childhood educators.

By the end of the three-year agreement, this funding is intended to have built a high-quality early learning and child care system that New Brunswick’s families can rely on.