EDMONTON, AB – Child care in Alberta is getting another boost from the federal and provincial governments.
It was announced Tuesday morning (Sept. 22) that the Government of Alberta will receive $72 million of the $625 million in federal support for Canada’s child care sector.
The funding is to make sure that safe and affordable child care is available for parents who are gradually returning back to work in light of COVID-19.
The latest investment is in addition to the $45 million Alberta will get through the 2020-2021 Canada-Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreement to support child care programs and services for families in the province.
Along with agreements under the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, Canada’s Safe Restart plan will see an investment of nearly $1.2 billion in child care support in 2020-2021.
That’s the largest federal child care investment in history.
In total, licensed child care programs in the province will get $87 million in new funding, thanks to the $72 million from the federal government’s Safe Restart, $8.2 million from the bilateral agreement and the remaining $6.9 from Phase 3 of the Child Care Relief provincial program.
Back in May, the province announced the Child Care Relief program, providing $17.8 million to ensure child care centres can safely restart operations and support Albertan families.
“When [child care] centres closed, parents of almost 110,000 children across Alberta were without child care,” said Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz.
“This meant many were forced to stay home instead of going to work and the importance of child care was put into sharp focus, then it became clear that a world, or an Alberta without child care, simply was not an option.”
Schulz praised all child care providers for opening up safely amid the pandemic.
“Most child care centres across the province and preschools have opened, but many are still struggling to get through these uncertain times as enrolment remains low right across the province,” she said.
“Child care programs have already begun to receive the September support of $109 per licensed space. This is the third phase of funding that we committed to this spring and have started to roll that funding out to centres across the province. They will now receive $200 per space, plus a $2,500 grant per child care centre in both October and November through this [Safe Restart program] grant were announcing today [Sept. 22].”
The funding will help centres pay for necessary personal protective equipment and meet all health requirements set by provincial health officials.
“We need child care to support our economic recovery so that more parents can get back to work knowing that their children are in a safe and healthy environment,” Schulz said.
“This funding will do just that. It will give providers the resources they need and in turn give the parents peace of mind knowing their children and their child care centre is the best place for their child.”
Goulet, J., 2020. Licensed child care programs in Alberta to receive $87 million in federal and provincial funding. Lethbridge News Now, [online] Available at: <https://lethbridgenewsnow.com/2020/09/22/licensed-child-care-programs-in... [Accessed 22 September 2020].