Low-interest Loans and new grants announced to add or expand child care centres
The provincial government is launching three new programs to provide financial assistance to operators and developers interested in building or renovating facilities for new or expanded Early Years Centres (EYCs).
The Department of Education and Early Years, in partnership with Finance PEI, will be launching a Low-Interest Loan Pilot Program for Early Years Centres. This $7 million fund will offer accessible and affordable financing options at 3 per cent interest rate to child care centres and developers, both established and prospective, looking to expand or create new facilities for Early Years Centres.
In parallel, the Department of Education and Early Years is also introducing a Capital Grant Program to provide 20 per cent of the project costs, up to a maximum of $200,000 per project for applicants approved through the low-interest loan pilot program.
The Department recognizes the need to properly plan for the future. To help operators or individuals who intend to operate an EYC, the Department of Education and Early Years is investing in an Early Learning and Child Care Business Plan Grant. For eligible applicants, this one-time grant for up to $4,000 or 80 percent of the cost of a certified business advisor, can be used to develop an EYC business expansion plan or a business plan for a new early learning and child care facility. Priority will be given to applicants proposing to increase infant and toddler spaces.
“We know affordable financing is necessary for our early years sector to expand. We are thrilled to launch both the Low-Interest Loan and new Grant programs, as they emphasize our commitment to building a stronger and more sustainable early years sector for PEI. These new initiatives will not only support some of our current early years centres to expand, they will also provide an incentive for developers to consider child care facilities as a part of their future builds."
- Education and Early Years Minister Natalie Jameson
"There is an urgent need to grow early childhood spaces across the province and our partnership with the Department of Education and Early Years is one of the ways we can support Island entrepreneurs and developers to help meet this demand," said Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Trade Gilles Arsenault. "I encourage any current or prospective Early Years Centre operator and developers to access this financing program to help us build bright, modern, and inclusive spaces where Island children can start their early childhood experiences."
"The ECDA is pleased with this significant investment to PEI's ELCC infrastructure. We have been hearing from operators that the desire to expand child care services is there, and with this financial assistance, it will now be possible,” said ECDA Executive Director, Jennifer Nangreaves.
The new supports align with PEI’s mission to promote accessible, high-quality child care services, benefiting children, families, and the community as a whole.
Department of Education and Early Years
Department of Economic Development, Innovation and Trade
The new Low-Interest Loan Pilot Program for Early Years Centres is a $7 million loan portfolio at a fixed rate of 3 per cent for an initial 5-year term and amortized over a 20-year period (requires the infrastructure to remain a child care facility). The Department of Education and Early Years will provide Finance PEI with an interest subsidy on an annual basis to cover the interest differential.
The Department of Education and Early Years plans to invest $1.3 million over the first 5-year term to support the low-interest low program.
Successful applicants of the loan program will also qualify for a capital grant, equal to 20 per cent of project costs up to a maximum of $200,000 per project, which will help to alleviate barriers to financing with respect to the equity component of the project and decreases overall financing costs.
Applicants must complete the PEI Suitability Tool for Child Care Space Creation, and meet all eligibility requirements as outlined by Finance PEI.
Operators of Early Years Centres or individuals who intend to operate an Early Years Centre may be eligible for funding to help with the cost of their professional business plan for EYC business expansion planning or new child care facility planning for a new EYC. The Early Learning and Child Care Business Plan Grant is a one-time grant up to $4,000 or 80 percent of the cost of a certified business advisor to develop a business plan. Priority will be given to applicants proposing to increase infant and toddler spaces.