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New funding aims to establish more family home centres in P.E.I.

Three-year-old Oliver Rowe is fully focused on putting puzzle pieces in place at Kidz Korner Early Learning Academy in Roseneath. Education and Early Minister Jordan Brown visited the child care facility Friday to provide updates from new early years investments.
Three-year-old Oliver Rowe is fully focused on putting puzzle pieces in place at Kidz Korner Early Learning Academy in Roseneath in this file photo.

New funding will assist Islanders to offer licensed early learning and childcare in their homes and also aims provide more choice for parents.

Capital, quality improvement and training grants are being introduced to encourage the establishment of more family home centres, which are licensed early childhood programs usually offered in a home setting for up to eight children.

In response to public input, regulation changes came into effect in October 2018 that increased the number of children that can be cared for in a licensed home centre from six to eight, depending on the age of the children.

The regulation changes also made it easier to apply for and administer a family home centre by removing the requirement for small home-based centres to supply business and staffing plans.

Education Minister Jordan Brown said parents want to have choice when it comes to early learning and child care.

He said having more family home centres will create spaces for families who prefer a home setting for their young children, and families in rural areas where larger centres may be less viable.

Home programs that are regulated by the provincial early learning and childcare board are inspected and required to meet quality standards related to staff certification, child-staff ratios, space requirements and working conditions.

The provincial government is committed to licensing up to 14 new family home centres in 2018-2019.

Information on the new grants and application forms are available at Princeedwardisland.ca/familyhomecentre.

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