This is a joint release with the Government of Canada.
Early learning enhancements for Yukon children will provide a richer, culturally appropriate environment to offer students a stronger foundation for learning and long-lasting impacts on their educational careers.
Cultural Enhancement Funding
As part of the Canada-Yukon Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, over the next two years, licensed early learning and child care programs and early childhood educators in the Yukon will have access to $800,000 in Cultural Enhancement Funding to develop enhanced, culturally rich, early learning programs and environments, focused on:
- Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, doing, learning and being;
- place-based, outdoor, experiential learning opportunities;
- francophone language and cultures; and
- languages and cultures of other diverse populations.
Funding can be accessed through two initiatives: Cultural Enhancement Projects for licensed early learning and child care operators, valued at $2,000 per licensed Family Day Home to $5,000 per licensed center; and Cultural Resource Funding for the Yukon’s early childhood educators to develop resource kits, providing materials to support culturally responsive programming valued at $500 for use in licensed early learning programs. Operators and educators applying for funding will receive support from the Yukon’s Early Learning and Child Care Unit, for more information email email@example.com. Information sessions will also be taking place in the near future.
Early kindergarten programs
In addition to early child care programs, many Yukon Rural schools have also enhanced early kindergarten programs. Enhancement of early kindergarten in rural communities provides children with opportunities to engage in developmentally appropriate, play-based curriculum for longer periods, over two years, which fosters deeper understanding and development of solid foundational skills as they enter grade one. Engagement with First Nations and communities in the Yukon this past year resulted in all Yukon Schools offering full day kindergarten programming, and the majority of Yukon rural schools offering enhanced early kindergarten programs. To accommodate the enhanced early kindergarten programming, additional staffing have been allocated based on community needs.
The enhancement of early learning programming will provide children with the best head start towards a successful educational career. Research shows the value of building foundational skills from an early age and the positive and lasting impact this has on a child’s future.
We are committed to providing high-quality programming that will foster positive outcomes for our youngest learners. Through experiential learning opportunities, a diversity of language and cultures and other culturally inclusive programming in early learning years, our children will have a stronger sense of self and a foundation for learning before kindergarten with a strong focus on Yukon First Nations ways of knowing, doing and being.
Minister of Education Jeanie McLean
Child care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. That’s why our government is working with our partners in the territory to ensure access to high-quality, affordable, accessible, flexible, inclusive and culturally-appropriate early learning and child care, so that every child across Yukon can have the best possible start in life.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen
In July 2021, the Government of Canada and the Government of Yukon signed a new Canada-Yukon Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, providing nearly $42 million in additional federal funding over the next five years to support Yukon’s efforts to ensure that all families have access to regulated child care for $10 a day.
Through previous investments in early learning and child care, the Government of Canada helped to create over 40,000 more affordable child care spaces across the country prior to the pandemic, including over 1,500 spaces in Yukon.
2020–21 engagement with First Nations and communities in the Yukon resulted in all Yukon schools offering full day kindergarten programs and 12 Yukon schools offering early kindergarten programs.
Federal Budget 2021 provides new investments to build a high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care system across Canada. These investments total up to $30 billion over the next five years, and combined with previous investments announced since 2015, $9.2 billion every year thereafter, permanently.