Many jurisdictions have reduced the adverse effects of split systems by merging their early education, child care and family support services. When the OECD visited Canada in 2004, no jurisdiction had merged departments; today, eight have done so. The Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and most recently, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, have merged child care and related early years services into their education departments.
Naturally, it is also important to look closely at what takes place within newly merged departments. Are things such as educator training and curriculum planning integrated, or do they remain isolated though existing in the same ministerial neighbourhood? Nevertheless, there are promising signs that centralized oversight is contributing to the development of more coherent policy frameworks and service delivery.
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