Ontario Expanding Early Years Programming in First Nation Communities

Head shot picture of Indira Naidoo-Harris who is the Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care
Photo: Indira Naidoo-Harris - Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care

Province Supporting More Children and Families in over 40 First Nations

Ontario is expanding culturally relevant child and family programs for more than 1800 children and their families in over 40 First Nation communities across the province.

As part of The Journey Together: Ontario’s Commitment to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, the province is enhancing existing and supporting the development of new child and family programs in over 40 First Nations.

Child and family programs located in First Nation communities provide culturally relevant support, advice, personal connections, as well as a network of resources and play- and inquiry-based programs for young children and families.

Creating more opportunity for young children and their families is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners and create a better future for everyone in the province.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is supporting First Nations children and their families by investing up to $23.5 million over the next two years in child and family programs, which are designed and delivered by First Nation communities. This includes ongoing funding to help increase access to culturally relevant child and family programs on-reserve.
  • As part of this commitment, Ontario is making an initial investment of $7.5M to support the expansion and enhancement of child and family programs in over 40 First Nation communities. Research shows that there are positive relationships between quality early learning, child development outcomes, and a parent’s ability to work.

Additional Resources


“First Nation child and family programs are important hubs for quality early years services. This expansion gives families better access to early learning programs for kids. It also provides First Nation communities with culturally-relevant support and services that help to build strong families and strong communities.”

Indira Naidoo-Harris

Minister Responsible for Early Years and Child Care

“Expanding early years programs in First Nation communities will help to ensure programs meet local community and children’s needs. These investments are a step toward a broader child care and early years strategy for Indigenous communities in Ontario and are connected to the government’s vision where children and families are supported by a system of responsive, high-quality, accessible and increasingly integrated programs and services.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

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