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Access to high-quality child care is vital in helping parents get back to work. These new child care spaces support parents in areas that need more quality child care options and who work beyond typical daytime hours. Funding will also create overnight child care spaces, which was made possible under the Early Learning and Child Care Act, which came into force Feb. 1.
“This is great news for working families who are truly essential to Alberta’s economy. Working parents need more access to child care, including overnight care, that works when they do.”
“We’ve listened to the needs of parents all across Alberta. This funding provides more accessible, high-quality child care options for working parents in rural areas and growing communities, and will allow Alberta’s child care operators to grow and support our economic recovery.”
“We’ve seen a lot of interest for overnight child care from parents, like nurses and other shift workers, who work outside the regular 9 to 5 Monday to Friday hours. This funding will go a long way towards helping us provide more child care options for parents. Apple Blossom is deeply appreciative of the support of Children’s Services and the provincial government in addressing this need in our community.”
Through the Early Learning and Child Care agreement with the federal government, these 1,500 new and flexible child care spaces in licensed programs will create about 200 direct jobs for child care providers. Parameters and operational plans for overnight care will be developed in collaboration with operators.
- Grants will be awarded by March 31 and will add up to more than 1,500 new spaces in both licensed family day homes and facility-based child care centres across Alberta.
- Successful applicants will use the funding to increase the number of children they can care for in centres through renovations, open new daycares and day homes, or add capacity for overnight child care.
- Parameters and considerations such as population size, numbers of existing spaces, and industry/economic need resulted in spaces in communities such as:
- Sherwood Park, with a young population and located near industrial plants which run 24/7.
- Hinton, a community that supports oil and gas, forestry, mining and construction industries.
- Fort McMurray, where many shift workers in energy and emergency services need extended hours of childcare.
- Taber, where many manufacturing plants operate 24/7.
- Rocky Mountain House, where many residents are employed at hospitals, RCMP and other 24/7 services.
- The number of child care spaces capacity building grants will support include:
- 168 in the City of Calgary, including 15 overnight spaces
- 189 in the Calgary area (serving High River and Strathmore and others), including 19 overnight spaces
- 185 in central Alberta (serving Camrose, Olds, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House and Viking), including 22 overnight spaces
- 50 in the City of Edmonton
- 206 in the Edmonton area (serving Sherwood Park, St. Albert and Sturgeon County), including 24 overnight spaces
- 221 in north central Alberta (serving Boyle, Edson, Hinton, Westlock and Whitecourt), including eight overnight spaces
- 295 in northeast Alberta (serving Fort McMurray), including 55 overnight spaces
- 58 in northwest Alberta (serving Falher, Grande Prairie and Valleyview)
- 186 in southern Alberta (serving Bassano, Brooks, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Taber), including 39 overnight spaces