Learn about universal child care and rural early kindergarten program

Yukon government is working to:

  • develop a universal child care model in Yukon;
  • establish full-time early kindergarten programming in all rural communities; and
  • transfer early learning and child-care responsibilities from the Department of Health and Social Services to the Department of Education.
Universal child care

About universal child care

All families should be able to access high-quality, affordable child care.

The Yukon universal child care model is based on 3 key principles:

  • affordability;
  • quality; and
  • accessibility.

Eligibility

Universal child care is available to Yukon families utilizing licensed child care spaces.

Why choose universal child care

Universal early childhood education programs are recommended in the Putting People First report. Affordable options are shown to improve children’s learning outcomes, success and capacity for life-long learning.

What moving to a universal child care system on April 1, 2021 will achieve

This will:

  • put more disposable income in the hands of families;
  • provide parents and guardians with more choices if they want to work outside of the home; and
  • ensure that families can access high-quality, affordable child-care options for their children.

There will be no changes to other funding programs

Universal child care is not a 1-size-fits-all model. We are not considering a reduction to any funding programs, such as:

Collaboration with community partners and First Nations governments will continue after April 1, 2021.

Rural early kindergarten program

The first 5 years of a child’s life are the most critical for their mental, physical and social development.

Early kindergarten programs can support and enrich children’s early learning experiences through:

  • building strong relationships;
  • nurturing wellbeing and belonging;
  • promoting communication and literacy; and
  • helping children build a positive personal and cultural identity.

Supporting early learning and childhood development is a priority.

Eligibility

Children who will be 4 years old on or before December 31 of 2021 can start the early kindergarten program at their school.

Where the early kindergarten program is available

Yukon communities

Half-day

Half-day early kindergarten is currently offered in all rural schools, with 2 exceptions. It is not offered in Watson Lake or Dawson City.

Full-time

Full-time early kindergarten will be in all rural Yukon schools starting in the fall of 2021.

This will ensure equal early learning opportunities across our rural communities. We'll work closely with Dawson City and Watson Lake to develop early kindergarten programs in those communities.

Whitehorse

Early kindergarten in Whitehorse area schools will be explored in the longer term.

Early kindergarten is an optional program

Increasing access to quality early learning opportunities will allow families to:

  • take advantage of work opportunities;
  • ease the financial burden for Yukon families and caregivers; and
  • help close the developmental gap between Yukon’s rural and urban children.

Space and staffing for the program

Our goal is to ensure that all rural communities have the resources and training they need. This is so they can continue to develop high-quality early learning programming that fits the needs of their:

  • families; and
  • community.

Register your child for rural early kindergarten

Registration is not open yet. More information will be shared soon.

About universal child care

All families should be able to access high-quality, affordable child care.

The Yukon universal child care model is based on 3 key principles:

  • affordability;
  • quality; and
  • accessibility.

Eligibility

Universal child care is available to Yukon families utilizing licensed child care spaces.

Why choose universal child care

Universal early childhood education programs are recommended in the Putting People First report. Affordable options are shown to improve children’s learning outcomes, success and capacity for life-long learning.

What moving to a universal child care system on April 1, 2021 will achieve

This will:

  • put more disposable income in the hands of families;
  • provide parents and guardians with more choices if they want to work outside of the home; and
  • ensure that families can access high-quality, affordable child-care options for their children.

There will be no changes to other funding programs

Universal child care is not a 1-size-fits-all model. We are not considering a reduction to any funding programs, such as:

Collaboration with community partners and First Nations governments will continue after April 1, 2021.

The first 5 years of a child’s life are the most critical for their mental, physical and social development.

Early kindergarten programs can support and enrich children’s early learning experiences through:

  • building strong relationships;
  • nurturing wellbeing and belonging;
  • promoting communication and literacy; and
  • helping children build a positive personal and cultural identity.

Supporting early learning and childhood development is a priority.

Eligibility

Children who will be 4 years old on or before December 31 of 2021 can start the early kindergarten program at their school.

Where the early kindergarten program is available

Yukon communities

Half-day

Half-day early kindergarten is currently offered in all rural schools, with 2 exceptions. It is not offered in Watson Lake or Dawson City.

Full-time

Full-time early kindergarten will be in all rural Yukon schools starting in the fall of 2021.

This will ensure equal early learning opportunities across our rural communities. We'll work closely with Dawson City and Watson Lake to develop early kindergarten programs in those communities.

Whitehorse

Early kindergarten in Whitehorse area schools will be explored in the longer term.

Early kindergarten is an optional program

Increasing access to quality early learning opportunities will allow families to:

  • take advantage of work opportunities;
  • ease the financial burden for Yukon families and caregivers; and
  • help close the developmental gap between Yukon’s rural and urban children.

Space and staffing for the program

Our goal is to ensure that all rural communities have the resources and training they need. This is so they can continue to develop high-quality early learning programming that fits the needs of their:

  • families; and
  • community.

Register your child for rural early kindergarten

Registration is not open yet. More information will be shared soon.

Contact: 

For questions about universal child care, email earlylearning@yukon.ca.

For question about early kindergarten, email curriculum@yukon.ca.