The Government of Yukon is increasing the Direct Operating Grant for early learning and child care centres for the first time since 2008. The increase follows requests from child care providers, stakeholders and First Nations, and stems from the new Early Learning and Childcare agreement with the Government of Canada, signed earlier today.
Funding will be increased by 14.5 per cent to reflect the cost of living increases that have occurred since 2007. Rural child care programs will also receive an additional 20 per cent increase in the Direct Operating Grant to better reflect the reality of offering early learning and child care programming in rural, northern communities.
As Yukon’s most significant early learning and childcare program, the Direct Operating Grant assists with the operation of child care centres and strives to stabilize fees and availability of child care spaces throughout the territory.
The increases will be effective retroactively to April 1, 2017.
Ensuring that children have access to affordable early learning and child care is a priority for our government and supports our goal of creating strong and resilient communities in Yukon. Over the last decade, the cost of living has increased and child care providers have been faced with increased operational costs, resulting in higher childcare fees for Yukoners. We’ve heard from many stakeholders that an increase in the Direct Operating Grant is overdue, and we’re happy to provide relief to child care providers through this increase in funding.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
The Early Learning and Childcare agreement sets aside $3.2 million over three years to allow for the increase to the Direct Operating Grant.
This funding will assist early learning and childcare programs to provide more infant spaces, an identified area of need in Yukon, as well as encourage new programs to open and provide care where none currently exists.