Alberta child care programs to receive $45M from Ottawa
EDMONTON -- Alberta will receive $45 million of a $400-million commitment by the federal government to provincial and territorial child care programming.
The allocation consists of $29 million to boost day care subsidies, $9.7 million to create the Inclusive Child Care Program supporting disability needs and adding as many as 385 child care spaces throughout the province, and $4.7 million to make an early-learning curriculum available to all operators in the province.
Alberta's Children's Services Minister Rebecca Schulz said some families could save up to $200 a month under the new subsidy model.
“The bottom line is that if more families can afford child care, more Albertans can go back to work and help rebuild our economy,” she said.
The federal government has promised more than $1 billion to the provinces' and territories' daycares with the announcement of $625 million also to come through Ottawa's Safe Restart Agreement.
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The provision of child has been tied to many parents getting back on the job, especially mothers, whose job losses have been worse and gains slower than fathers during COVID-19.
"(Child care) is more than a convenience. It is, quite simply, a necessity,” federal Children and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen said in the Thursday news conference.
He has hinted the Liberals might look to do something more in the next fiscal year.
According to the Alberta government, about one third of families in the province with children use early learning or child care programs.
One third of those licensed operators report being unable to provide extra support to children with disabilities without extra resources.
Alberta's child care licensing regulations are set to expire in January. According to the minister, the legislation has to been subject to an update or review since 2008.
She said the ministry just finished consultations with operators on improvements needed, and the feedback would inform legislation changes.