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About the Department

The Education and Early Childhood Development was established under the Executive Council Act and is responsible for the education of all citizens from pre-school to Grade 12. The programs and services offered are provided through three branches:

K-12 Education and Early Childhood Development Branch
This branch includes responsibility for school services; program development; family and child development, including regulated child care and family resource centres; student support service; evaluation and research; distance learning and innovation; and early childhood learning.
Corporate Services Branch
This branch includes responsibility for strategic planning and annual reporting; budget preparation and monitoring; financial services; school busing; international education; policy development and accountability; school construction; teacher payroll services; and federal-provincial agreements.
Infrastructure Branch
The Branch is responsible for the administration and management of the K-12 school capital construction program which includes new construction, extensions, renovations and/or redevelopments, all major maintenance for existing school infrastructure.

 

Mandate

The Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development is responsible for early childhood development,the K-12 school system and public libraries with the objective of building an educational community in Newfoundland and Labrador that fosters safe, caring and inclusive learning environments for all children and youth in early childhood settings, regulated child care and family resource centres, and pre-school to grade 12.

The mandate for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is primarily established under the:

  • The Departmental Notice under the Executive Council Act;
  • Child Care Services Act;
  • Schools Act, 1997; and
  • Teacher Training Act.

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Lines of Business

  1. Educational Policy and Direction
    The department sets the strategy and vision for the K-12 education system and provincial early learning and child care. Decision-making is informed through reviewing and amending legislation and regulations; conducting relevant research and analysis; and providing statistical indicators and background information. The department is responsible for the certification of teachers and the administration of various articles of the teachers' collective agreement. The department also approves the certification of early childhood educators (ECEs), which is completed by the Association of Early Childhood Educators Newfoundland and Labrador (AECENL).
  2. Curriculum and Programs
    In the K-12 system, responsibilities include: developing and monitoring the French and English curricula and programs; creating or selecting learning resources; developing programs for improved teaching and learning; developing and supporting inclusive education initiatives; supporting safe, caring and inclusive environments; providing teacher professional learning opportunities; and collaborating with Aboriginal groups.
  3. Support for Children and Youth with Diverse Needs/Exceptionalities
    The department provides a broad range of support services to enhance inclusive practices in child care and learning environments for children and youth with diverse needs/exceptionalities. In regulated child care settings, the Inclusion Support Program is a voluntary program that provides support to child care providers (centre-based or family child care) to support children with diverse needs (birth to 13 years) to participate meaningfully in those programs. In the K-12 system, support for students with exceptionalities is provided within the inclusive education framework. The service delivery model is supported by policies and guidelines and professional learning and is enhanced through collaboration
    with community partners.
  4. Early Childhood Learning
    The department fosters early childhood learning opportunities through cooperation with other departments and agencies. Responsibilities include: developing and implementing early childhood learning resources; developing and monitoring the KinderStart program; the provincial early childhood learning framework; evaluation activities; the provincial early childhood learning strategy, Learning from the Start; early literacy partnerships with public libraries; Parent Resource Kit partnership with regional health authorities; and the Power of Play promotional campaign.
  5. Child Care Services and Family Resource Centres
    Responsibilities include: monitoring and licensing of regulated child care services (centre-based or family child care home) throughout the province; providing financial support for regulated child care services on behalf of eligible families; providing financial support for the development and operation of child care centres and family child care homes; providing financial assistance to help recruit and retain early childhood educators (ECEs); and supporting the operation and development of family resource centres in many areas of the province.
  6. Student Assessment and Research
    The department collects data and manages databases for core areas such as child care services, enrolment, student support services, student achievement and graduate outcomes. Responsibilities include: the evaluation, monitoring, test development and certification processes for the K-12 system; administration of the General Educational Development (GED) tests; and all major functions related to education system performance, such as education statistics, planning, accountability, policy development and research.
  7. Support to School Districts
    Areas include: school transportation; school construction and major repairs and maintenance; monitoring compliance with codes and legislation (including Occupational Health and Safety compliance); school board operations; teacher allocation; and teacher payroll (including teachers and student assistants).
  8. e-Learning
    Responsibilities include: the delivery of distance education programs and services to secondary level students attending schools supported by the two provincial school districts; the provision of digital learning resources to support selected intermediate course delivery; the development and delivery of online e-course review supports for public and school-based exams; the development and delivery of multimedia learning objects as learner supports for select intermediate and secondary level provincial curricula; the hosting of the provincial K-12 video-conferencing bridging services; and the negotiation, purchase and oversight of select provincial software licensing acquisitions.
  9. Support for Public Libraries
    Areas include: support for compliance with codes and legislation (Occupational Health and Safety, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy); early literacy; and a community Internet access youth employment program.

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