To support Yukon families and make their lives more affordable, the Government of Yukon is investing more than $25 million in 2021–22 towards early learning and child care initiatives. This includes approximately $15 million for a new Yukon-wide universal child care program.
Licensed child care operators who opt into the new universal child care program will receive additional funding from the Government of Yukon, which will benefit families through reduced monthly fees.
Starting on April 1, families will save up to $700 per month per child who are registered in participating licensed full-time child care programs. For example, if a family pays $850 per month, they would now pay $150 in fees. Children in part-time programs will receive a pro-rated fee reduction.
Operators who choose to participate in the program will also benefit from enhanced funding for operations and wages for Early Childhood Educators.
Existing subsidies such as the Teen Parent grant and the Grandparent grant will continue to be provided.
Introducing universal affordable child care in Yukon will put more disposable income into the hands of families and create more choices for those who want to work outside the home. This will save families up to $700 per month per child, helping to build a stronger economy and support Yukon children to grow into healthy, happy adults.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
Our government believes that all families should have access to affordable, high-quality child care and early learning opportunities. Early Childhood Educators play a key role in setting up our children for success in school and life and it is important that we recognize and support them. By investing in families and education, we are creating healthy, thriving communities.
Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee
In July 2020, Premier Silver announced that Yukon would be moving to a universal, affordable child care system.
In 2018 and 2019 the Government of Yukon undertook extensive engagements with First Nations governments, child care operators, Early Childhood Educators, families and stakeholders in the child care sector to better understand the needs of children and families in their communities.
Utilizing information from past Yukon engagements, a team from Health and Social Services and Education has been working with Yukon First Nations governments and key stakeholders, including child care operators and education partners, over the past few months, to determine how to create a universal childcare model for Yukon based on the principles of affordability, accessibility and quality.
On April 1, the Child Care Unit will move to the Department of Education and become the Early Learning and Child Care Unit to help ensure that early learning and childcare services are coordinated at all levels.