On November 15, 2021, Albertans received great news. The Government of Alberta and the federal government announced the signing of a child care agreement that will provide $3.8 billion in funding over the next five years to reduce child care fees for parents to an average of $10/day, improve access and increase quality in early learning and child care (ELCC). The Minister of Children's Services, Rebecca Schulz, held a virtual town hall for program operators to answer questions on the agreement and give some information on how this will look. Please see below for the points that were clarified or where further information will be shared in the coming weeks.
The following types of programs will qualify for funding under this agreement:
- All currently licensed facility-based programs (both for-profit and non-profit) that offer child care to children aged 0-6, including licensed child care and preschools
- All programs in the process of being licensed to offer child care to children 0-6 (both for-profit and non-profit), including licensed child care and preschools
- Licensed family day home programs offering child care to children aged 0-6 - for clarity, these are family day home programs that are monitored by a licensed family day home agency
- Licensed Group Family Child Care programs
The following types of programs will not qualify for funding through this new agreement:
- Out-of-school care programs
- Unlicensed day home programs
- Private for-profit child care program: program offering care to children aged 0-5 that is owned and governed by an individual or private entity.
- Private non-profit child care program: program offering care to children aged 0-5 that is governed by a board of directors or community group that is registered as a society.
- Public non-profit child care program: program offering child care to children aged 0-5 that is governed by a local level of government, which might include municipalities, schools or Indigenous governments.
- Licensed family day home program: a home-based program that is overseen by a licensed family day home agency
- Licensed family day home agency: employ consultants to work closely with both family day home providers and parents to support the safety and well-being of children in their providers’ care
- Group family child care program: this license type is no longer available for new programs, programs offer care in a private residence. There are typically between seven and 10 children with two caregivers
- Unlicensed day home program: day home program that is not a part of the licensed sector and is not overseen by a licensed family day home agency
- Preschool: program offering child care to children aged 2-5 for four hours or less a day. Can be any of private for-profit, private non-profit, or public
- Out-of-school care program: operate before and after school, during lunch hours and sometimes when schools are closed. Can be any of private for-profit, private non-profit, or public
For clarity, in the following points any time you see:
- for-profit child care it is referring to private for-profit child care programs
- non-profit child care it is referring to private non-profit and public child care programs
Please note, the below points are a summary of the Children's Services town hall on November 15, 2021. Stay tuned for further information from the Government of Alberta. If you would like to send feedback to the Government of Alberta on any of the points below, please contact Children's Services at CS.ChildCare@gov.ab.ca.