Agreement to amend the Canada – Alberta Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement - 2021 to 2026

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Amendment 1

Between:

Referred to collectively as the “Parties”.

Preamble

Whereas the Parties concluded the Canada-Alberta Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Agreement (“Agreement”) on November 14, 2021.

Whereas at the time of the signing of the Agreement, the Parties agreed that up to approximately 1,500 for profit spaces that were already planned and ready to open shortly would be eligible for federal funding under the Agreement.

Whereas Alberta indicates that the number of for profit child care spaces that were already planned and ready to open shortly, and that would be eligible for federal funding under this Agreement, was actually 2,700.

Whereas the Parties agree to increase the number of already-planned for profit spaces eligible for federal funding under this Agreement from 1,500 to 2,700 to reflect space creation initiatives already underway at the time of signature of the Agreement.

Now therefore, the Parties agree to amend the Agreement, as follows.

1. Section 2.0 is modified by replacing section 2.1.1 with the following.

2.1.1 Canada and Alberta commit to the following objectives:

2. Section 12.0 is modified by replacing section 12.1 with the following.

12.1 This Agreement, including Annexes 1, 2 and the amendment, comprise the entire Agreement entered into by the Parties with respect to the subject matter hereof.

3. Annex 2 (Alberta’s fiscal year 2021 to 2022 to fiscal year 2022 to 2023 Canada-wide action plan) is modified by replacing the section on Access with the following.

Access

Space creation must be responsive to economic growth and recovery, and offer the level of flexibility that Alberta families require. Given this is only a 5-year commitment, spaces must be sustainable. Enrolment in Alberta currently hovers around 55%, and was around 80% prior to the pandemic.

Alberta commits to creating spaces at a rate that matches enrolment changes. Our plan is also responsive to populations with extra needs including infants, children with disabilities, other vulnerable children, those in rural and remote communities, as well as select daycare deserts.

Through space creation initiatives underway, we are creating 2,700 new licensed and regulated child care spaces in fiscal year 2021 to 2022. Alberta will leverage our current approach to expand and create more spaces through the federal funding. We will work with communities and partners to enhance access to high quality child care in areas where it is needed most. Building on existing and establishing new partnerships, where necessary, will ensure that child care in Alberta is reflective of the diverse communities and specific needs in our province.

Alberta will look for opportunities to expand in a way that focuses on spaces for children aged 0 to kindergarten, but supports all child care types and providers to best meet the needs of Alberta families in our mixed market system. Based on definitions used by the Government of Canada, 44% of spaces in Alberta are considered non-profit (includes family based and public providers) and 56% of spaces are privately operated; and many by female entrepreneurs who provide high quality care that should not be excluded from participating in space creation or other initiatives.

Alberta commits to creating a minimum of 42,500 not for profit spaces over the next 5 years.

Alberta will prioritize not for profit space creation in year 2 and build in private sector space creation starting in year 3 of the Agreement once the For-Profit Expansion Plan and cost control framework have been developed by the Implementation Committee and agreed to by the federal government for receipt of federal funds for private operators. These operators will be able to fully participate in all aspects of the Alberta action plan no later than fiscal year 2023 to 2024, provided the For-Profit Expansion Plan and cost control framework developed by the Implementation Committee have been agreed to by the federal government.

Alberta will work with providers of all types, including non-profit operators and community agencies, municipalities, faith-based and cultural organizations, as well as educational facilities, to create spaces starting in areas of high especially important in rural and remote communities.

Alberta will also consider how it may incentivize unlicensed child care to join a licensed agency. Alberta has had several space creation initiatives spanning the last 12 years, providing historical data on Alberta’s ability to create new spaces. While Alberta has been successful in creating new child care spaces, the targets in this plan will require aggressive expansion efforts. Coupled with a requirement to ensure there is an adequate workforce to staff new spaces, Alberta will continue to explore how to address these demands.

This allocation of funding per-space will enhance not-for-profit programs’ capacity to meet the range of responsibilities required to build new spaces and expand their services. Space creation funding will be available, on an application basis, to offset the costs of planning, renovations, and purchasing supplies, equipment and toys. This cost per space represents an average per space. These new spaces will also support children with specific learning, linguistic, cultural and other needs, as well as provide flexibility for families who need drop-in and 24-hour child care.

4. The Agreement remains unchanged in all other aspects.

5. This amending agreement shall take effect upon its signatures by the Parties.

Signed on behalf of Canada by the Seniors Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Service Policy Branch at Employment and Social Development at Ottawa this 1st day of April, 2022.

[Signed by] Catherine Adam, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of Strategic and Service Policy.

Signed on behalf of Alberta by the Deputy Minister of Children’s Services at Edmonton this 11th day of April, 2022.

[Signed by] Sherri Wilson, Deputy Minister of Children’s Services.

Approved Pursuant to the Government Organization Act.

[Signed by] Intergovernmental Relations, Executive Council on 25th day of April, 2022.

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