The Government of Yukon is working to implement high-quality early-learning opportunities to support improved long-term outcomes for children in all areas of their education and development.
Yukon families will have increased access to high quality, affordable childcare options for their children starting on April 1, 2021. Additionally, full-time early kindergarten programs will be offered in all rural Yukon schools starting in the 2021–22 school year.
To support these initiatives and coordinate early learning services, the Child Care Services Unit will transfer to the Department of Education as of April 1, 2021.
The Government of Yukon is currently engaging with Yukon First Nations governments and key stakeholders, including childcare operators and education partners, on how to create a universal childcare model for Yukon based on the principles of affordability, accessibility and quality, and enhanced early Kindergarten programming at all rural schools in Yukon.
These actions are in direct response to Putting People First, a roadmap to transform Yukon’s health and social services system into a more integrated, collaborative and person-centred system that will better meet the needs of Yukoners. The Government of Yukon continues to work with partners on the implementation of Putting People First to ensure Yukoners have a better and more sustainable system for years to come.
Our government believes that all children should have access to affordable, high-quality childcare and early-learning opportunities. We know that families are struggling to afford the costs of childcare and we are taking action to make life more affordable. This is part of our ongoing work to provide more integrated, collaborative programs and services that will better meet the needs of Yukoners and Yukon families.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
We are very excited to be moving forward on these early learning initiatives that will support learning and improve our long-term health and education outcomes for Yukon children, families and communities. We look forward to continuing working in partnership with First Nations governments, childcare operators and providers, and education partners on the implementation of universal childcare and early Kindergarten in rural schools.
Minister of Education Tracy-Anne McPhee
The 2019 Speech from the Throne committed to expanding early kindergarten programming to rural Yukon communities.
In July 2020, Premier Silver announced that Yukon would be moving to a universal, affordable childcare system.
In August 2020, the Government of Yukon endorsed Putting People First, the final report of Yukon’s comprehensive review of health and social program and services. The report’s recommendations will make services more effective, provide better value for money and improve outcomes and experiences for clients, patients, families and health and social service providers.
In 2018 and 2019 the Government of Yukon undertook extensive engagements with First Nations governments, childcare operators, Early Childhood Educators, families and stakeholders in the childcare sector to better understand the needs of children and families in their communities.
The services provided by the Child Care Services Unit include licensing and monitoring childcare programs, and processing funding programs such as the Child Care Subsidy Program, Direct Operating Grant and Supported Child Care Program applications and renewals.