Provinces and territories have increased ECE funding by almost $1 billion since 2014, bringing total spending to $11.7 billion. As the most populous provinces, Ontario and Québec account for over half this increase. Every province and territory has added to their funding with the exception of Saskatchewan, where spending amounts have remained stable. Amounts are important, but it is equally telling to identify the share of provincial and territorial resources devoted to young children; the benchmark is a minimum of 3 percent of annual budgeted spending. By comparison, ECE spending averages 5–6 percent of annual budgets in most OECD countries. Adjusted to Canadian realities, 3 percent was the highest spending percentage attained by a province when the ECER was developed in 2011. The benchmark is a modest target for an age group that makes up between 5 percent to over 13 percent of provincial and territorial populations.Only Ontario and Québec exceed the spending benchmark of 3 percent. No other province or territory reaches 2 percent. As a percentage of annual budgets, spending on ECE largely flatlined between the 2014 and 2017. A bump in funding is anticipated in 2018 as provinces and territories add their own investments to federal transfers.
ECE Budget as a Percentage of Provincial/Territorial Budget
Child Population 0-5 Years as a Percentage of Provincial/Territorial Population
Change in Total Provincial/Territorial ECE Spending
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