On February 1, 2021, the amended Early Learning and Child Care Act (formally the Child Care Licensing Act) and its accompanying regulations will come into effect. Bill 39, the bill introducing changes to the Act, had its first reading on October 28, 2020. Over the following two months, it was debated in the legislature, passed, and received Royal Assent in mid-December. The supporting regulations were released, in part, in a Changes in Child Care document and through The Alberta Gazette (p.73-95, the Government of Alberta's official newspaper). A summary of significant changes to the regulations can be found here. The Queen's Printer will have new versions of both the Act and Regulations available soon with the amendments incorporated, which should be easier to read. The Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta (AECEA) and other community groups have recommended changes that primarily focus on the recognition and support of Alberta's early childhood educators (ECEs) and the development of a comprehensive system that ensures quality and affordable early learning and child care (ELCC) provision for all children and their families.
As the launch of the new Act and Regulations draw near, AECEA wanted to ensure that it provided its members, the Minister of Children's Services, and the broader early learning and child care community with a response to the changes introduced in the amended regulations. The intent of this document is to inform ECEs in Alberta about the amended Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Regulations and to help ECEs and other stakeholders consider the implications changes to the Regulations may have on the field and the children and families it serves. The information included in the report is based on research, expert guidance from the field, and our direct connections to programs and early childhood educators. As you will note in the document, there are some questions to consider.
AECEA has also completed a response to the changes in the Early Learning and Child Care Act. To view AECEA's response to the changes to the Act, go here.