Alberta has announced $9.7 million to fund 1,500 more spaces in daycare centres and day homes — including 185 in central Alberta — to support working families across the province.
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.
The province said the grants to facility operators will provide families with access to high quality child care, including overnight care, so parents can get back to work.
“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,” said Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz.
Grants will be awarded by March 31.
The new central Alberta child care spaces will serve Camrose, Olds, Red Deer, Rocky Mountain House and Viking, and will include 22 overnight spaces.
Considerations such as population size, number of existing spaces, and industry and economic need resulted in spaces in communities such as Rocky Mountain House where many residents are employed at hospitals, RCMP and other 24/7 services.
The federal government entered into bilateral agreements with all provinces and territories to provide them with $1.2 billion over three years for early learning and child care programs, starting in 2017–18. An additional $400 million is being provided to provinces and territories this year through one-year agreements.