A national childcare plan is crucial to ensuring parents can contribute to the employment sector
Too many families across Canada lack access to high‑quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive child care. That is why the Government of Canada has laid out a plan to provide families in Canada with, on average, $10‑a‑day child care for children under six years of age by March 2026. This plan will make life more affordable for families, create new jobs, get parents—especially mothers—back into the workforce, and grow the middle class, while giving every child a real and fair chance at success.
Today, the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, along with the Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education for Newfoundland and Labrador, were at St. John’s Ches Penney Family YMCA to announce that the province has reached a $15-a-day fee for licensed child care, down from $25-a-day just last year. With this reduction, the province is exceeding the shared goal to reduce 2019 parent fees by an average of 50% by the end of 2022, resulting in families in Newfoundland and Labrador saving up to $5,090 annually per child.
Today’s announcement means that the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador are making child care more affordable for families in the province, working toward their goal of reaching an average of $10-a-day for licensed child care in 2023, two years ahead of schedule.
More than half of Canada’s provinces and territories have announced the implementation of child care fee reductions, working toward the commitment under the Canada-wide early learning and child care agreements to reduce fees for licensed child care spaces by 50% on average by the end of 2022. The governments of Quebec and Yukon have already achieved an average cost of $10 a day or lower for regulated child care.
Minister Gould and Premier Furey also took the opportunity to announce that a pre-kindergarten pilot program will launch this year that will create additional regulated child care spaces. At full implementation, this province-wide program will create approximately 3,100 regulated spaces for four-year-olds by 2025–26, which will open up existing child care spaces for younger children.
The Canada-wide early learning and child care system is becoming a reality across the country. The Government of Canada will continue to work with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to make life easier and more affordable for families and give children across the country an equal chance to succeed.
“The Government of Canada’s goal is to ensure that by the end of March 2026, all families in Canada, no matter where they live, will have access to regulated early learning and child care for an average of $10-a-day. From reduced child care fees, to improvements to child care centres and higher-quality programming, we are making significant progress toward the implementation of the Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care system in Newfoundland and Labrador.” – The Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“Quality, affordable child care in Newfoundland and Labrador is important for families, the economy, and the future. Our government led the way with $25 a day child care and I am pleased to be moving forward with this announcement. Today, we set the stage for significant growth every year from now to 2025–26, addressing both short and long-term child care needs for families in this province and improving compensation for early childhood educators.” – The Honourable Andrew Furey, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador
“With significant progress already made on child care affordability, our focus now under the Early Learning and Child Care Action Plan is on increasing access to quality, regulated child care and increasing the workforce in the sector. Increased grant funding to home-based operations will support space creation for all ages, while the Pre-Kindergarten program will expand availability for four-year-olds and will open up spaces for other ages at full implementation.” – The Honourable Tom Osborne, Minister of Education for Newfoundland and Labrador
As part of Budget 2021, the Government of Canada made a transformative investment of more than $27 billion over five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system with territories and provinces. It provides over $347 million for Newfoundland and Labrador over five years to help improve licensed early learning and child care for children under six years of age in the province. This includes:
$306 million for 2021–22 to 2025–26 Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement;
a one-time investment of nearly $6.5 million in 2021–22 to support the early childhood workforce; and
over $34 million for 2021–22 to 2024–25 Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Early Learning and Child Care Extension Agreement.
Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including nearly 1,200 spaces in Newfoundland and Labrador.
As part of the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement’s Action Plan, the province will be:
expanding existing funding under the Family Child Care Capacity Grant from the current limit of $7,500 to up to $15,000 with an escalating service commitment;
increasing funding under the existing Child Care Capacity Grant from $5,000 to $7,000 per created space for not-for-profit groups and municipalities
providing additional funding to Family and Child Care Connections to increase the number of home-based operations in the Avalon and Western regions and to expand their family child care agency into Labrador and Central Newfoundland;
working to introduce a wage grid for early childhood educators by January 1, 2023, with changes to the Operating Grant Program to incorporate the current income supplement as part of the wages paid to early childhood educators;
adding approximately 700 additional seats in post-secondary early learning and child care programs at College of the North Atlantic, Keyin College and Academy Canada;
working with College of the North Atlantic to introduce a new “earn while you learn” program that will allow early learning and childcare students to split their time between the classroom and working part-time in regulated child care; and
establishing an Early Learning and Child Care Minister’s Advisory Committee with representation from established sector groups.
In January 2021, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador reduced child care fees to $25 a day, down from an average of $39 a day in 2019, to help ease the financial pressures on families.
As of January 1, 2022, Newfoundland and Labrador has further reduced child care fees to $15 a day from $25 a day, as a result of the Canada–Newfoundland and Labrador Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. More than 90% of regulated child care spaces in the province are subject to this rate through participation in the Operating Grant Program.