In addition to the previously eligible front-line health-care workers, critical infrastructure workers and first responders, child care is now available to anyone who works in the critical areas outlined as essential by government. A full list of those essential service positions can be found here.
“Access to child care should not be a barrier for those who are doing the work required to maintain essential services for all Albertans. We are grateful to the workers for continuing to get the job done and we thank those child care operators for stepping up to provide this important service.”
Parents who work in these areas can contact the child care centres that are open in their communities. An updated list of these centres can be found at alberta.ca/COVID19 (under Info for Albertans). This list will be updated as new centres become available.
Currently, child care centres have reopened in Calgary, Edmonton, Devon, Fort McMurray, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Red Deer and Stony Plain. Overall, these centres are at eight per cent of their allotted capacity, so there is room to expand eligibility.
The Alberta government is reopening spaces in four other communities and working with Municipal Affairs, the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association and Rural Municipalities of Alberta to identify areas of need elsewhere.
The centres will be limited to 30 people, including staff, and will have to adhere to strict sanitization practices based on specific instructions from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta's chief medical officer of health.
Parents who qualify for subsidy will receive it and centres will charge their typical rate, within reason. Per direction from Dr. Hinshaw, parents who are eligible should only access this child care if it is the only way they will be able to go to their work in a core service sector.
As this process involves uncertainty for child care programs, child care centres will be financially compensated for reopened spaces that are not filled. They will also receive up to $500 for the purchase of cleaning supplies.
All other licensed child care centres are to remain closed. Approved family day homes may remain open but limited to six children, not including the operators’ own children.