ECE and Child Care in Canada

Country Liaison for Canada, Gabriela Arias de Sanchez, promotes trends and ideas in early childhood curriculum and explores issues related to childcare services across Prince Edward Island as part of the PEI Women’s Network. Gabriela provides the following update on child care access and services in Canada.

Expansion of Child Care in Canada
In June 2017, the Canadian Federal Government increased provincial investment in child care spaces in the amount of $7 billion over 10 years.

Territories and provinces have been working with the Canadian federal government to increase spending on child care services. Examples of agreements made in several provinces include:

  • British Columbia announced a 3-year investment of $1 billion for the path to universal child care.
  • Ontario plans to expand culturally relevant programs for Indigenous children in its early years programming and provide more child care spaces to support Indigenous families. The province plans to spend up to $70 million over two years on child care and child and family programs developed in partnership with municipal service managers and Indigenous organizations.
  • Alberta plans to create 1,000 new child care spaces at a daily fee of no more than $25/day through a $10 million investment that will also create up to 230 new child-care jobs.

Women in the Workforce and Child Care

  • Statistics Canada data (2016) points out the link between the number of women at work in the country and the cost of child care: the higher the cost of child care, the fewer women at work.
  • In February, the Federal government introduced a gender-focused budget with investments to promote equality and bring more women into the workforce. Recent investments in early child care services across the country appeared to be aligned with this new initiative.
  • In recent years, Canadian policymakers and the broader Canadian society have started to recognize that universal and accessible care for young children is a fundamental woman’s right that is linked to work, economic independence, and citizenship.

Canadian Support for Education in Developing Countries and SDG4
In January 2018, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced at the World Economic Forum plans to provide an additional $180 million to the Global Partnership for Education between 2018-2020. Trudeau stated that the money will provide support for girls’ education and help strengthen education in developing countries.

Additional Resources:
Government of Canada. (2017). Multilateral Early Learning and Childcare Framework. Policy and program development. Retrieved August 2017 from

Government of Canada. (2011). General Social Survey. Retrieved August 2017 from

Pasolli, L. (2015). Working mothers and the childcare dilemma. A history of British Columbia Social Policy. Vancouver, BC: UBC Press.


Disclaimer: The information provided by the Country Liaison represents their perspective on education progress and challenges in their nation. It does not necessarily reflect the point of view of the Association for Childhood Education International staff and leadership.