On December 16, the UCP announced they will be cutting a pair of programs meant to support childcare centres and workers in Alberta. The Benefit Contribution Grant and the Staff Attraction Incentive programs will be discontinued on April 1, 2020. The Benefit Contribution Grant is a program that offsets the costs of mandatory employer payroll contributions like the Canada Pension Plan, Employment Insurance, vacation pay and statutory holiday pay. Specifically, the BCG was meant to target the contributions that are the result of additional staff support funding that is also paid for by the government. The part changing is that previously, the BCG would provide an extra 16 per cent of the staff support funding to cover the contribution amount for the extra top-ups — or about $1.06 extra an hour for the supervisor example. That means that without the BCG program, the childcare centres will have to pay those extra costs, potentially leading to fees increasing for parents.
The government is also ending the Staff Attraction Incentive, which gave new, qualified staff members a bonus of $2,500 at the end of a year of employment.
AECEA has been asked by its members to create template letters on behalf of educators, parents, and operators in order to share your thoughts on the recent cuts with Minister Schulz, Premier Kenney, Tania Brudler, Children's Services critic Rakhi Pancholi, and your own MLA using the MLA Finder. Please personalize these letters, as it is your unique voice that should be heard. What AECEA would like to see is that government, alongside child care stakeholders, create an early learning and child care system that meets the needs of all of Alberta's children and their families; a comprehensive system that is planned for and invested in wisely.