The government is launching consultations to ensure parents and early childhood educators have their say on reducing red tape and improving quality and safety in child care.
Led by MLA Tracy Allard, the results of the consultation will inform the drafting of updated regulations and legislation this fall.
“Hearing from Albertans will allow us to work towards a more streamlined, easy-to-navigate system that ensures parents and families have access to high-quality, safe and accessible child care choices. Our aim is to ensure the updated legislation is informed by those who use it every day.” Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services
“I know how important child care is for families and how challenging it can be to find the right option. I firmly believe the best way to improve any organization or system is to hear directly from the people involved. I am honoured to lead this consultation process and collect feedback from Albertans who rely on and work in the child care sector.” Tracey Allard, MLA for Grande Prairie
To ensure physical distancing, child care operators and industry associations will participate in virtual table talk sessions. An online survey will also be available to parents, early childhood educators and operators, beginning June 15. The survey will be on alberta.ca and will also be sent to parents through their child care centre.
Preliminary conversations with the sector indicated that, despite many changes due to the pandemic, this review is important and should proceed. Now more than ever, child care is a priority for many Albertans and fulfils a commitment made last year to consult prior to updating the legislation and regulations. It will also allow the Government of Alberta to enshrine principles of quality child care within legislation, rather than through the previous system of accreditation.
The Child Care Licensing Regulation is set to expire on Jan. 31, 2021, and requires revision to modernize provisions and ensure safety and quality.
This consultation will consider all existing categories of licensed child care, including out-of-school care, as well as approved family day homes and preschool.
There are more than 2,900 active licensed/approved programs in Alberta with more than 138,000 child care spaces in Alberta.
There are more than 726,200 children age 12 and under in Alberta. About 105,300 of these children are enrolled in regulated child care spaces.
Prior to being elected to represent Grande Prairie in the legislature, MLA Allard was a successful small business owner and community volunteer, and is a mother of three children.
Provincial Press Release June 8, 2020 @ 1:01 PM