The Child Care Act and Regulation provides the legislative basis for early learning and care in Alberta. The Act has undergone review by the Ministry of Children’s Services, and a new Act was tabled in the Legislature in November 2020. A new set of regulations will follow shortly. A key issue is the extent to which the new act and regulations will support high-quality early learning and care. This report is a comprehensive review of how jurisdictions can, and do, support quality in early learning and care through a combination of regulation and other policy vehicles and mechanisms. The report was prepared by Jane Beach, a prominent researcher and consultant in the area of early learning and care. In her report, Beach
- reviews the history of early learning and care in Alberta since the 1960s as well as its present state (Section 2),
- describes international research on quality and standards for ensuring quality (Section 3),
- provides an overview of regulatory mechanisms for supporting quality in Alberta and four other provinces (Section 4),
- outlines the regulatory, funding, and policy measures used in Norway to build a high-quality system of early learning and care (Section 5), and
- raises issues that need to be considered in building a system of early learning and care (Section 6).
This report was commissioned by the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care and the Muttart Foundation, with the intent of promoting discussion about improving the quality of early learning and care in Alberta.