Premier Notley, Minister Irfan Sabir, and Minister Stephanie McLean made the Future Ready announcement on access to child care. – GOA photo
by Morinville News Staff
Non-profit organizations are invited to apply to develop 18 new Early Learning and Child Care Centres across the province in what the government says is the first step toward $25-per-day child care in Alberta.
This government believes the $10-million investment will create an approximately 1,000 new child-care spaces and up to 230 new child-care jobs.
Additionally, the move is hoped to fill what the government sees as gaps in childcare, including flexible child-care options for parents doing shift work, accessible locations in facilities including hospitals and other public buildings, and support for children with diverse needs.
“We know the cost of quality child care is a challenge for many families,” said Irfan Sabir, Minister of Human Services, in a release Tuesday. “As a government, it is up to us to support parents and make sure children have opportunities for bright futures. I am proud that our government is creating new child-care spaces across the province.”
Stephanie McLean, Minister of Status of Women, said improving access to child care will support more women to remain in or enter the workforce. “Today’s investment will improve the lives of women and move us one step closer to equality in Alberta,” she said.
Barb Reid, co-chair of the Alberta Leaders Caucus on Early Learning and Child Care and Executive Director of Getting Ready for Inclusion was pleased to learn of the provincial investment.
“We are excited to see our government invest in high-quality and inclusive child care. A focus on quality values the profession of early learning and care and the need to respond to the diversity of Alberta’s children. It is an investment in a strong start for children and families.”
The government is offering each of the new child-care centres with up to $500,000 in operating funding in the first year, with a funding opportunity for an additional two years.
Locations for the new child-care centres will be targeted by demand and will be announced early in 2017.
The deadline to apply to become an Early Learning and Child Care Centre is Jan. 20, 2017.