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Parents, critics question slow-moving child care deal between UCP and Ottawa

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EDMONTON -

The provincial government is facing questions over Alberta not yet making a $10/day child care agreement with Ottawa.

The Official Opposition says it has received over 1,800 emails from parents asking about Alberta’s plan.

Eight other jurisdictions have signed a child care deal that would see federal dollars reduce costs down to $10/day or less by 2026.

Rebecca Schulz, Alberta's minister of children's services, says she stressed urgency in reaching a deal.

"I had a great conversation and a first meeting with my federal counterpart and I am optimistic in where those negotiations are headed," Schulz told CTV News Edmonton.

She would not provide a timeline for when she expects to see a deal in place, but blamed the delay in part on the federal election and the need for a unique Alberta arrangement.

"We want to make sure that we as a government are not picking and choosing which centres or which daycares are included in this program," said Schulz.

"We know every province has their own circumstance. We are not the only province with a mixed market with for-profit and non-profit providers," Rakhi Pancholi, NDP critic for children's services, responded.

"The question is, why hasn't this government signed this agreement now?"

The province has been working on a deal with Ottawa since April. 

With a report from CTV News Edmonton's Chelan Skulski 

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