Early learning and child care system leads Canada
Prince Edward Island’s early learning and child care system is highly rated, according to a new report.
The Early Childhood Education Report measures provincial and territorial performance in early education and child care, children’s access, quality, and other measures. The University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) issues the report every three years.
“Over the years we have developed excellent public policy and programs, but it is our professional, knowledgeable, and caring early childhood educators who have made our system what it is,” Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown said, “and they continue to raise the bar of quality for Island children and families.”
Prince Edward Island’s performance has steadily improved since the first report in 2011. While it shared the top ranking with Quebec in 2014 with a score of 10 out of 15 points, in the latest report the Island is alone in first place with a score of 11.
Other provinces and territories recognize Prince Edward Island as a national leader in early childhood policy and programs for several reasons:
- the province’s early learning and child care model includes high quality early years centres that have regulated parent fees, a wage grid for early childhood educators, parent advisory committees, and funding for children with special needs;
- the Island’s publicly managed system approves new licenses based on community need;
- early years centres follow a provincial curriculum;
- all staff must be certified; and
- there is a provincial policy framework and a Minister’s Early Years Advisory Committee.
The PEI Action Plan for Children – under the Canada-PEI agreement – includes new funding of $10.5 million over the next three years for licensed early learning and child care, including 200 new child care spaces, more supports for children with unique needs, and new programs for parents who work seasonal and non-standard hours.
Education, Early Learning and Culture