Recently, early learning and child care programs in Alberta expressed increasing concerns about the effects of the fourth wave of COVID-19 and what the future holds for them. To better understand these concerns, AECEA conducted a survey of ELCC programs in Alberta. 430 responses were received, representing nearly 28,000 spaces (about 20% of the total licensed spaces in Alberta). This one-page summary was sent to the Ministry of Children's Services on Friday, November 5 and to AECEA members on November 8. A full report is being drafted and will be released soon.
For an additional resource on what a quality system needs, see the Edmonton Council for Early Learning and Care's Recommended Actions for Alberta Children’s Services in Support of Early Learning and Care.
Yesterday, the Government of Alberta announced "new" funding for child care operators, read the release here.
Quick notes on the "new" funding:
- $20.57 million is for the already-announced recruitment and retention program - this is not new dollars being made available ($19 million has already been distributed)
- $15 million is for COVID-19 relief - this is a new reallocation of unspent funds (due to lower than expected enrolment and expenditures) from the last bilateral agreement with the federal government. This funding will be distributed in December and "programs will have the flexibility to use this funding to cover additional COVID-related expenses, to hire additional staff or for other operational areas of need."