Provincial Press Release July 23, 2021 @ 10:33 am published 10:36 am
The Government’s of Canada and Alberta have signed an agreement on an extension to the Canada–Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
Through the agreement, the Government of Canada is providing over $290 million in funding over 4 years to Alberta to improve access to high quality, affordable, flexible, and inclusive early learning and child care programs and services.
The federal and provincial governments agree that affordable child care is essential for families and the province’s economic recovery. That’s why, earlier this year, nearly $400 million was invested by the provincial government in child care. Building on this, funding from the renewed agreement will be used to enhance subsidies and give even more working parents a hand up.
Throughout the pandemic, child care operators have navigated through closures, quarantines and staffing challenges, showing resilience by re-opening and staying open. The agreement includes a one-time investment of $56 million in 2021-22 to support the recruitment and retention of an early childhood workforce.
The agreement builds on the commitments made in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework and ensures that funding continues to be available to support child care programs and services for Alberta families.
Signing this agreement is an important first step in the provincial and federal governments coming together to negotiate a longer-term strategy for accessible, affordable, high-quality child care in Alberta. Both governments will continue to come to the table in pursuit of a fair and flexible agreement on the Canada-wide early learning and early child care funding commitments.
“Child care is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. High-quality early learning experiences are essential to the intellectual, emotional and physical development of our children. Our government will continue to fight for families and children in Alberta, to ensure they have access to affordable, accessible, flexible and inclusive child care. Because every child deserves the best possible start in life.” Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
“Child care matters and is vital to our economic recovery. Albertans expect high-quality, inclusive, affordable and accessible child care. We’re investing in a child care strategy that meets the diverse needs of Alberta parents, especially working moms, while supporting high-quality programs in attracting and retaining quality Early Childhood Educators.” Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services
The renewed bilateral agreement provides more than $45 million this year allocated to the subsidy program (up from $29 million under the 2020-21 agreement) to allow more working parents, who are most in need, to access affordable child care.
New funding levels and amounts per child, based on income, will be announced shortly.
This year, the government of Alberta plans to spend $280 million in childcare subsidies.
Investments supporting the recruitment and retention of an early childhood workforce include a one-time, $56million federal investment, which includes:
$25.7 million to support quality and access through skills training, professional development and resources to enhance existing initiatives
$20.6 million to support workforce recovery and retention strategies
Effective July 1, subsidy rates have increased for eligible school-aged children enrolled in full-time licensed out of school care programs, for the months of July and August.
The Government of Canada is making a transformative investment totalling up to $30 billion over the next five years to build a Canada-wide early learning and child care system. This investment will allow governments to work together towards significantly reducing child care fees for thousands of families across Alberta.