3rd Floor, West Block, Confederation Building, P.O. Box 8700, St. John’s, NL A1B 4J6
Tel: (709) 729-5097 Fax: (709) 729-5896
Mandate: The Department of Education is responsible for early childhood learning, the K-12 school system, and public libraries in Newfoundland and Labrador. The vision of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is to provide citizens with the values, knowledge and skills necessary to be productive and contributing members of society.
Target Population: The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s primary clients are educators, children, youth and their families.
Highlight of Programs / Services Offered:
- 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; distributing resources and equipment to schools; 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 Indigenous groups..
- 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, consultations 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 carried out by the Association of Early Childhood Educators Newfoundland and Labrador (AECENL).
- 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) test; and all major functions related to education system performance, such as education statistics, planning, accountability, policy development and research.
- Support for Children and Youth with Diverse Needs and 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 and 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 (up 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.
- 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/Bon Départ program; developing the provincial early childhood learning framework; 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.
- 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; conducting investigations of complaints for regulated and unregulated child care; providing financial support to 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 ECEs; supporting the operation and development of family resource centres across the province; and supporting children’s transition from child care to the K-12 system.
- Support to Entities: The department provides support in many areas to the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, the Conseil scolaire francophone provincial, and the Provincial Information and Library Resources Board. Some areas of support include school transportation; teacher allocation; teachers’ payroll; operating grants for both school districts and libraries; and support for compliance with government legislation and policy.