Greeting from Ministers

Honourable Mitzie Hunter

Minister of Education

Hon. Indira Naidoo-Harris

Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care Minister of the Status of Women

Dear Colleagues,

We know how important the early years are to the success of our children and province. That is why our early years and child care system is undergoing momentous change.

With your support, we are transforming our system to give all children the best possible start in life. Without question, the College of Early Childhood Educators has been essential to our ambitious work.

We want to thank you – every Early Childhood Educator across Ontario – for everything you do.

Every time we visit schools, child care centres, and early years child and family centres, we see first-hand the dedication and passion that you put into your work every day. We always leave inspired and with a renewed appreciation of the commitment and support you provide to Ontario families.

As you know, we recently released Ontario’s Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework, our blueprint for the future. Your input is invaluable as we work towards this renewed framework and unprecedented transformation. Only with your support can we make it a reality.

We are already busy working on key commitments under the renewed framework, such as an Affordability Strategy, a Workforce Strategy, and an Innovation Fund.

These priorities build on important milestones we have already reached, including:

• Committing to provide 100,000 more children, aged 0-4, access to licensed child care over the next five years.

• Increasing child care operating funding to more than $1.4 billion per year, including ongoing funding for wage enhancement for eligible licensed child care program staff.

• Investing $1.6 billion dollars in new capital funding to support the creation of 45,000 new licensed child-care spaces in schools, and in other public spaces and communities over the next five years.

• Unveiling the new EarlyON Child and Family Centre brand to integrate, enhance and expand child and family programs to give better access to children and families and committing to support up to 100 new EarlyON child and family centres, and up to 100,000 more family and caregiver visits over the next three years, including funds allocated to EarlyON through the Canada-Ontario Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

• Expanding before- and after-school programs to children 6 to 12 years old in all publicly funded elementary schools serving students to grade 6, where there is sufficient demand.

• Enrolling approximately 260,000 students annually in Full-Day Kindergarten throughout the province.

As we continue to transform our system, we look forward to collaborating with all of you on our renewed vision for the early years and child care. Your expertise, knowledge, and professionalism are vital in making sure our kids get the best possible start in life. We look forward to exploring opportunities that support both our Early Childhood Educators as well as our youngest learners as they continue to learn, grow, and develop, so that they can reach their full potential.

So thank you again for your passion, dedication, and commitment. Together we are helping put Ontario’s children on a firm path to lifelong success!

Sincerely,

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education
Indira Naidoo-Harris, Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care