Provincial Government Commits to Introducing Medical Benefits for Early Childhood Educators

Today, the Honourable Krista Lynn Howell, Minister of Education, announced the Provincial Government’s commitment to introduce a medical benefits program for early childhood educators working in regulated child care services that participate in the Operating Grant Program.

Minister Howell was joined by Élisabeth Brière, Parliamentary Secretary to the Government of Canada’s Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Skye Taylor, Executive Director of the Association of Early Childhood Educators Newfoundland and Labrador.

The medical benefits program will become operational fall 2024 and will be managed by the Association of Early Childhood Educators Newfoundland and Labrador. Medical benefits will be optional and available to individuals who have worked a minimum of three months at a regulated child care service participating in the Operating Grant Program, including:

  • Early childhood educators;
  • Trainee early childhood educators;
  • Other staff working in child care services; and
  • Regulated Family Child Care providers.

The new medical benefits program for early childhood educators will support recruitment and retention of early childhood educators as the Provincial Government continues to increase the number of early learning and child care spaces throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

The annual cost for the new benefit plan is estimated at over $1.8 million, funded as part of the $306 million invested through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Through this agreement, the Governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador are working together to improve access to high-quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is committed to providing high quality, affordable child care that is accessible throughout the province. There are close to 9,400 early learning and child care spaces operating at $10-a-day or less in the province, with a further 2,000 spaces in development.