Ministers promise to work together to improve child care workforce

Iqaluit, Nunavut –

Federal, state and territory ministers in charge of early learning and child care said they will work together to address workforce challenges.

Canada’s Minister of Family, Children and Social Development Karina Gould announced that ministers at a meeting in Iqaluit agreed to develop a plan focused on recruitment, retention and recognition.

That includes fair wages, good working conditions and opportunities for professional development, said Natalie Jameson, Minister of Education and Early Childhood for Prince Edward Island.

All provinces and territories have signed Canada’s $10 a day childcare plan with individual targets and an overarching goal to reduce licensed childcare to $10 a day by 2026.

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nunavut all hit their targets ahead of schedule, and Yukon was on average before signing.

More childcare spaces are still needed, Gould said, and the federal government is working toward a goal of creating about 250,000 new childcare spaces nationwide by March 2026. .

The Liberal government announced last month that a $625 million Early Learning and Childcare Infrastructure Fund will support childcare spaces in underserved areas. This includes rural and remote areas, high-cost and low-income urban neighborhoods, and communities facing access barriers.

“Early childhood educators are really the backbone of this field,” Jameson said Thursday.

“We need to work together to improve early childhood education and make it a career path of choice for more Canadians.”

This report by the Canadian Press Agency was first published on July 13, 2023.

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