April 21, 2011
For immediate release
Budget allows implementation of remaining Early Years Centres
Education and Early Childhood Development
Funding provided in the 2011-12 provincial budget will allow the province to continue implementation of Early Years Centres across Prince Edward Island, says Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Doug Currie.
“We are extremely pleased to receive the necessary funding to continue our Early Years Centres rollout across Prince Edward Island,” said the minister. “We were able to implement 40 Early Years Centres during Round one last year and we are looking forward to Round two which includes six additional centres this year.”
Although most departments received no increase in the 2011-12 provincial budget this year, the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development received a three per cent increase equalling about $6.8 million. The increase brings this year’s Education and Early Childhood Development budget to about $227.3 million, which includes a more than $11 million investment in Early Childhood.
It was originally anticipated that only 20 Early Years Centres would be implemented in 2010 but, due to an overwhelming response to the program, double the originally estimated number of centres were implemented. Once all these centres complete their transition to Early Years Centres, there will be a total of 2,159 certified spaces distributed across Prince Edward Island. As well, thanks to the Preschool Excellence Initiative, we have seen total infant spaces increase across the province by 72 per cent. There is still demand for more spaces and the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is working to encourage the creation of more Infant Homes.
“The Preschool Excellence Initiative is the largest single investment this year and it will allow the number of Early Years Centres on Prince Edward Island to grow to about 48 centres Island wide,” said the minister. “It is an excellent initiative designed to provide a high quality learning environment for all Island children.”
The province is pleased with the seamless rollout of these centres, and the Preschool Excellence Initiative, and is looking forward to the completion of Round two in the coming months.
For more information about the Preschool Excellence Initiative or Early Years Centres, contact the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development at 902-438-4887 or visit www.gov.pe.ca/eecd.