New Brunswick Early Learning and Child Care Preschool Designated Space Creation

Policy 901

Space Creation Strategy - General Information

Policy 901 - Space Allocation for Designated Early Learning and Child Care Facilities establishes the application process and the evaluation criteria for the creation of new designated preschool spaces in New Brunswick.

It supports the access to affordable, quality, and inclusive early learning and childcare in areas of greatest need to better support families participating in the province’s labour force, particularly women seeking to join, or return to, the workforce.

It will ensure that the new designated preschool spaces meet the needs of parents, helping us fulfill our obligations under the Canada-New Brunswick Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

The designation of a New Brunswick Early Learning Centre is a recognition given to licensed early learning and childcare facilities that offer services to preschool children aged five and under through a voluntary application process. The facility commits to providing equitable and affordable access to higher quality early learning and childcare services by removing barriers linked to family income, children’s ability and needs, language, and minority settings.

The policy establishes the criteria that must be considered when determining the location, number, and type of spaces to be allocated in designated facilities in the province.

You can find the policy here.

New Space Creation Commitments

New Brunswick committed to create and fund an additional 3,400 new preschool designated childcare spaces by March 2026.

Target 2022-2023

500 designated preschool spaces (0-5 years old)

Target 2023-2026

2,900 designated preschool spaces (0-5 years old)

What We Heard

Over the spring and summer 2022, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development asked families, early learning and childcare operators, communities and economic stakeholders about childcare needs and challenges.

Through this process, the following concerns and challenges were identified:

  • Long waiting lists, especially for infants (0-24 months)
  • Non-refundable fees to register or to be on a wait list
  • Flexible hours that meet parents’ and employers’ working hours
  • More spaces in the centers, especially for infants (0-24 months)
  • Parents’ travel time to access childcare
  • Access to childcare in their language of choice
  • Access to inclusive services to support the child
  • Standardized quality across the province

Helpful Documents


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