Call for proposals to help shape future of Indigenous early learning and child care

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

March 4, 2021 Gatineau, Quebec Employment and Social Development Canada

For many, child care is a necessity. For Indigenous children, culturally appropriate early learning and child care can be a crucial part of childhood development. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to promoting and investing in Indigenous-led early learning and child care to ensure all First Nations, Inuit and Métis children have the foundation they need to succeed in life.

Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, highlighted a call for proposals for the Indigenous Early Learning and Child Care Quality Improvement Projects. This call for proposals is targeted towards First Nations (on and off reserve), Inuit, and Métis peoples, governments and organizations and will support new approaches to Indigenous governance, coordination and delivery of culturally appropriate early learning and child care. The results achieved through these projects will contribute to a pool of knowledge and expertise, such as best practices, models and innovation, to improve the early learning and child care services available to Indigenous communities.

The Government of Canada is providing $9.25 million over two years in available funding, starting in 2021-22, for research and innovation projects through this call for proposals.

Priority areas were identified through engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners. Based on their feedback, proposals should focus on the following key themes:

  • development of a vision or framework for a high-quality, culturally appropriate early learning and child care system;
  • activities to build and strengthen local child care licensing rules and procedures;
  • actions to support ongoing education and training for early learning and child care leaders, management and staff; and
  • new tools, curriculum or training to support staff working with children with special needs.

Additional consideration will also be given to projects that include partnerships with academic institutions or Indigenous organizations involved in skills and employment training. Initiatives for language revitalization may be included as an element of proposed projects.

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