Overview of the colourful houses of the city of Iqaluit with the Arctic Ocean harbour in the distance

Ministers meet in Iqaluit to Discuss Early Learning and Child Care

Yet another “Workforce Strategy Framework” is the outcome of the meeting between Ministers.

Federal, provincial, and territorial ministers with a key responsibility for early learning and child care recently convened in Iqaluit to discuss yet another “framework” to help work out issues with the CWELCC agreements. Led by Minister Karina Gould and Minister Natalie Jameson, the focus was on the childcare workforce, which they agreed was “critical to ensuring high-quality and inclusive early learning and child care”. The ministers unanimously agreed to develop a Canada-wide, multilateral workforce strategy, emphasizing recruitment, retention, and recognition.
Interestingly, “Ontario has committed to taking the lead on establishing a working group on inter-provincial and territorial mobility and foreign credential recognition” for educators “to ensure seamless movement of qualified staff across Canada and from around the world.” Is this an effort to resolve the staffing crisis, just an attempt to continue low wages?
The federal, provincial and territorial governments have only committed 250,000 new child care spaces by March 2026, which will not even meet the demand for new spaces in Ontario. There is an urgent need for more capital funding to build and grow centres to accommodate even this inadequate number of new spaces. The $625 million pledged by the federal government will barely scratch the surface. Minister Karina Gould stated that: “While provinces and territories have made progress on making child care more affordable across Canada, there is more work to do to create new spaces and support the workforce.” Hopefully, we’ll see some more movement in that direction in the upcoming months.

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