Social Development

New funding for child-care spaces (10/03/09)

NB 331

March 9, 2010

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Funding of $2,000 per new space will be available starting next fiscal year for child-care facilities that offer French services in predominately English communities, and English services in predominately francophone communities. Social Development Minister Kelly Lamrock made the announcement today.

"The Early Learning and Child Care Trust Fund will offer this new language-based option starting in 2010-11," said Lamrock. "The fund provides financial incentives to increase infant, rural, and extended hours care spaces; supports early childhood education training; and curriculum training."

Eligibility criteria and more information on how to obtain access to this funding will be announced this spring.

"The provincial government recognizes the importance of increasing the availability and quality of registered early learning and child care spaces," said Lamrock. "In the Charter for Change, we committed to creating 720 additional infant spaces, and I am proud to say that, to date, we have 621 of those spaces created. This represents an 86-per-cent increase in the number of infant spaces."

Preschool spaces increased by 23 per cent, to 8,230 from 6,702, and the number of after-school spaces increased 44 per cent to 9,031 from 6,295.

Be Ready for Success: A 10 year Early Childhood Strategy for New Brunswick recognizes the importance of early learning opportunities. The action plan calls for more affordable spaces, in early learning facilities with a strong curriculum, staffed by educators who are trained and treated as professionals.

Through its poverty reduction initiative, Overcoming Poverty Together: The New Brunswick Economic and Social Inclusion Plan, the provincial government committed to ensuring that 20 per cent of infants and 50 per cent of two- to five-year-olds in the province may have access to a registered early learning space. To date, 11.5 per cent of infants and 40 per cent of preschoolers have access.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Alison Aiton, communications, Department of Social Development, 506-444-2416.

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