Early Childhood Development



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In September 2000, First Ministers1 reached an important agreement on early childhood development to foster the well-being of Canada’s young children. Under this agreement, the Government of Canada is providing $500 million per year to help provincial and territorial governments improve and expand early childhood development programs and services.

Provincial/territorial governments have agreed to invest the funding transferred to them by the Government of Canada into any or all of four key areas for action, depending on their particular priorities:

  • Promote healthy pregnancy, birth and infancy
  • Improve parenting and family supports
  • Strengthen early childhood development, learning and care
  • Strengthen community supports

To give Canadians a clear idea of the progress being made, governments will report regularly on how young children are doing and on their investments in programs and services.

More About the ECD Communiqué

  • 1 While the Government of Québec supports the general principles of the Early Childhood Development Agreement and the Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care, it did not participate in developing these initiatives because it intends to preserve its sole responsibility on social matters. However, Quebec receives its share of federal funding and the Government of Québec is making major investments toward programs and services for families and children. Return to reference 1


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