The Government of Canada announced on Aug. 13 that it reached an agreement with the Government of Nunavut to extend the Canada-Nunavut Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

Ottawa agreed to provide more than $10 million in funding over four years to Nunavut in order to improve access to high-quality, affordable, flexible and inclusive early-learning and child-care programs and services. The Government of Canada is also making a one-time investment in excess of $2.8 million in 2021-22.

“Child care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. High-quality early-learning experiences are essential to the intellectual, emotional and physical development of our children,” said Ahmed Hussen, minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “Our government will continue to fight for families and children in Nunavut, to ensure they have access to affordable, accessible, flexible and inclusive child care because every child deserves the best possible start in life.”

Since 2017, the Government of Canada has invested more than $8.5 million in early learning and child care in Nunavut.

The agreement extension earned praised from the Nunavut Education Minister David Joanasie.

“Nunavummiut deserve to have access to affordable and culturally relevant child care, no matter where they live in the territory,” said Joanasie. “This agreement highlights our commitment to provide a strong early-learning and child-care system that meets the early education and cultural needs of our young children.”

The new funding framework will be used to support these programs in Nunavut until March 2025.

Employment and Social Development Canada states that this is an important first step in the territorial and federal governments coming together to negotiate a longer-term strategy for child care in Nunavut.

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