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New funds for childcare

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Grants encourage establishment of more family home centres

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.

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

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

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.

Fast facts:

- Capital grants of up to $15,000 are available to licensed centres for home renovations and the purchase of furniture and equipment

- Quality improvement grants of up to $8,000 are being offered to enhance programming and create infant spaces

- Training grants are available to support home child care providers with training and licensing requirements

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

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