IQALUIT, Nunavut — Federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for early learning and child care say they plan to work together to address workforce challenges.
Karina Gould, minister of Families, Children and Social Development Canada, announced the ministers agreed during a meeting in Iqaluit to develop a plan focused on recruitment, retention and recognition.
Natalie Jameson, Prince Edward Island's minister of Education and Early Years, says that is to include fair wages, good working conditions and professional development opportunities.
All provinces and territories have signed on to Canada's $10-a-day child-care plan with individual targets and the overarching aim to reduce licensed child-care fees to $10 a day by 2026.
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut have all reached that goal ahead of schedule while Yukon had achieved that average before signing on.
Gould says there is still a need for more child-care spaces and the federal government is working toward its goal of creating approximately 250,000 new spots across the country by March 2026.
Last month, the Liberal government announced a $625-million early-learning and child-care infrastructure fund would support child-care spaces in underserved communities. That includes rural and remote regions, high-cost and low-income urban neighbourhoods, and communities facing access barriers.
"Early childhood educators are truly the backbone of this sector," Jameson said Thursday
"Together we need to elevate early childhood education so it is a career path that more Canadians will choose to take."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2023.
The Canadian Press