Appointed to Min for Education Advisory Group, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

Date Released: 27 September 2023


Today marked the first meeting of Phase 2 of the Minister’s Advisory Committee on Early Learning and Child Care in the Province of Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada. Dr Sheila Garrity has been appointed to the committee advising the Minister for Education, the Honourable Krista Lynn Howell. As part of a diverse and experienced group, Dr Garrity will contribute to implementing the NL-ELCC Action Plan, in harmony with the Canada-Wide plan for ELCC.

Dr Garrity brings years of experience from her time as an Early Childhood Educator, the knowledge she accrued as a researcher and academic, as well as her experience of being on the Irish Minister for Children’s Stakeholders Group since 2020, and on the Council of the NCCA. Speaking about the appointment, Dr Garrity commented , “Historically, Ireland and Newfoundland & Labrador share cultures and traditions; presently we share similar struggles related to the development of our early childhood education and care fields. The Canada Wide plan has addressed affordability for parents, with the $10/day scheme, while our fees are coming down, incrementally with each budget. They have introduced a wage grid, similar to our Employment Regulation Order, though again, we need to see more movement in this area. However, challenges remain in both regions. These relate to recruitment and retention of educators, developing strategies to address access and improve quality, including localised ‘deserts’ of provision, inclusion of all children with additional needs as well as those from minority ethnic and minority language communities. A significant difference is the privileging of not-for-profit and public/municipal provision in Canada, in particular NL, while Ireland remains heavily reliant on a market-based for profit sector, with no signs of change in this regard. I am looking forward to the work, and expect there will be great learning and sharing between us. An exciting year ahead!”

The Advisory Group is Chaired by Lisa Baker Worthman, Deputy Assistant Minister for Education and Sky Taylor, AECENL representative. Membership includes parent representatives, professional associations, service providers, members of indigenous and francophone communities, departmental representatives, academics and special advisors. Meetings are arranged in a hybrid format accommodating participants spread across the province, as well as Dr Garrity as the sole international member. You can read more about the Canada Wide ELCC Plan here: