Education and Early Childhood Development
October 29, 2015
Enhancing Child Care Services for Residents
New Child Care Enhancements Support Industry and Families
Enhancements to the 10-year child care strategy, Caring For Our Future, will further address and strengthen the quality, sufficiency and affordability of the child care system in this province. The improvements announced today include changes to the Operating Grant Program, equipment grant funding and the Early Learning and Child Care Supplement for Early Childhood Educators (ECE) in regulated Family Child Care homes.
"When we launched the 10-year child care strategy we outlined a clear long-term focus of improving the quality of a child's learning environment, increasing the number of regulated spaces, and making child care more affordable for families. Having a strong child care plan is an essential part of population growth. Today we are announcing enhancements that address each of the strategy's three pillars and will benefit owners, operators, early childhood educators, parents and most importantly the children in their care."
- The Honourable Susan Sullivan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
The improvements being made were informed through industry feedback and the ongoing review of the child care strategy to ensure it is responsive to the changing needs of families, operators and early childhood educators. The changes support the Communities and Families action plans of the Population Growth Strategy and will be effective immediately.
For child care centres, the following enhancements are being implemented:
- The Operating Grant Program will allow for increased flexibility by providing up to an additional 15 per cent above current grant amounts for child care centres that can demonstrate the financial need;
- Existing child care centres where kitchen facilities are unavailable for the provision of meals and snacks will now be eligible to apply for the Operating Grant Program at a reduced grant amount; and,
- Equipment grant funding will be continued and increased by 30 per cent for all child care centres in the province.
"As a childcare centre owner I feel that these changes and enhancements will benefit all involved and most importantly, the children. Increasing the equipment grant enables centres to purchase more equipment and learning supplies and the operating grant is excellent for parents as it's not just targeted at low income families, it's available for everyone making child care much more affordable for all families. Speaking from personal experience and as a new centre, the operating grant is what helped us through our first few months. Overall, I believe these enhancements will better the child care industry and will potentially allow families to grow."
- Jennifer Lee, Owner, Kiddie City Inc.
For regulated family child care homes, the following improvements will be made:
- Equipment grant funding will continue and be increased by 30 per cent for all family child care homes;
- The Early Learning and Child Care Supplement will be increased to $6,660 for qualified Early Childhood Educators who hold Level I or higher child care services certification in family child care homes. The current rates for eligible ECE in Family Child Care homes are $2,330 per year for a Level I and $4,660 per year for Level II or higher; and
- The full Early Learning and Child Care Supplement Program will be reviewed in 2015-16.
"The enhancements to the Early Learning and Child Care Supplement and the equipment grant demonstrate government's commitment to regulated family child care and the recruitment and retention of family child care providers. This will support the retention of quality child care spaces in regulated family child care homes."
- Valerie Collins, Coordinator, Family and Child Care Connections
Additionally, the Provincial Government is committing to the development of a promotional campaign to increase awareness about the regulated child care sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The 10-year child care strategy, Caring For Our Future, was launched in 2012-13 focusing on the quality, sufficiency and affordability of child care. Budget 2015 allocated $45.7 million to continue the implementation of the strategy, representing a $3.2 million increase over last year and the third consecutive year of funding increases. The strategy is available online at: www.ed.gov.nl.ca/edu/publications/childcare/caring_for_our_future.pdf
- Enhancements are being made to the 10-year child care strategy, Caring For Our Future, which improve the Operating Grant Program, equipment grant funding and the Early Learning and Child Care Supplement for Early Childhood Educators in Family Child Care homes.
- The Provincial Government is also committing to the development of a promotional campaign to increase awareness about the regulated child care sector.
- Currently, 64 child care centres have applied to receive operational funding under the Operating Grant Program representing approximately 1,500 spaces or 33 per cent of the centres in the province.
- Since 2003, the Provincial Government has increased the number of regulated child care spaces by 72 per cent from 4,609 spaces in 2003 to approximately 8,000 spaces currently.
- To find regulated child care services in your region or community visit: www.childcare.gov.nl.ca
- For more information on the Communities and Families action plans of the Population Growth Strategy visit: www.gov.nl.ca/populationgrowth/
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Director of Communications
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Owner, Kiddie City Inc.
Family and Child Care Connections
2015 10 29 1:40 p.m.