Early Childhood Program

Early Childhood Program

The Early Childhood Program supports early learning and child care programs for children 0-11 years of age under the Child Day Care Act.  The Early Childhood Program is responsible for licensing and monitoring child day care centres and family day homes and subsidizing program costs to help offset the high costs of child care for families. Research recognizes that high quality early education and care programs directly impact a child’s health and development.  

Early learning and child care programs are delivered in a variety of settings in the NWT including, child day care centres and family day homes. These can be in the form of full and part time early childhood education programs, preschools, nursery schools and after school/out-of-school programs. These programs provide play-based exploratory environments that support children’s development and where required, enable parents to access employment or training opportunities.

Regional Early Childhood Consultants assist program operators in a variety of ways, such as:

  • assist with the licence application process and requirements;
  • share their knowledge of child development;
  • model best practices in early childhood education;
  • provide program development knowledge;
  • provide support to eligible operators who may access funding to assist with operational expenses; and
  • provide resources. 

Early Childhood Program Review

In 2015 the Department of ECE completed a review of the administrative and funding processes of the Early Childhood Program, as identified in the Right from the Start Framework and Action Plan for Early Childhood Development in the Northwest Territories 2014-2016.

By reviewing how licensed day care centres and family day homes are currently administered and funded, ECE aims to simplify application processes for operators, and increase the transparency and accountability of all ECP available funds. One of these tools, for example, includes a new licensed child day care program inspection database now available on the website. This allows parents to make informed decisions on child care, while at the same time protects the privacy of child care staff.

For more information, review the completed Early Childhood Program Review Reports by visiting the Early Childhood Development documents page.