Early Learning and Child Care

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In March 2003, federal/provincial/territorial governments1 reached an important agreement on early learning and child care programs and services to foster the well-being of Canada’s young children . Under this framework, the Government of Canada is providing $1.05 billion over 5 years to help provincial and territorial governments improve access to affordable, provincially and territorially regulated early learning and child care programs and services.

Provincial/territorial governments have agreed to invest the funding transferred to them by the Government of Canada in provincially/territorially regulated early learning and child care programs for children under six. Early learning and child care programs and services receiving funding under this initiative are those that provide direct care and early learning for children in settings such as child care centres, family child care homes, preschools and nursery schools. For the purposes of this initiative, investments in programs and services that are part of the formal school system are not included.

To give Canadians a clear idea of the progress being made, governments will report regularly on their investments in programs and services. Governments also agreed to work together to develop an evaluation framework for early learning and child care programs and services.

About the Federal/Provincial /Territorial Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care


  • 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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Date Modified:
2011-09-26