The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta reaffirm their commitment to support access to quality early learning and child care across the province

News release

July 23, 2020              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta are working together to ensure families have access to the affordable, quality early learning and child care opportunities their children need to succeed.

Today, the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, and the Honourable Rebecca Schulz, Alberta’s Minister of Children’s Services, reaffirmed their commitment to support early learning and child care by announcing an additional investment through a one-year Canada–Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

The agreement allocates more than $45 million in 2020–21 to Alberta for early learning and child care investments. In particular, Alberta will create new licensed child care spaces through capital and program grants, provide child care subsidies to more families, support evidence-based training for child care staff and offset costs for child care centres associated with COVID-19 closures and reopening.

This agreement builds on the commitments made in the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework and outlines Alberta’s unique child care needs and priorities, including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It will ensure that funding continues to be available to support child care programs and services for Alberta families in 2020–21.

In addition, the Government of Canada recently announced an investment of more than $19 billion to help provinces and territories safely restart their economies and make the country more resilient to possible future waves of the virus. This includes $625 million to help provinces and territories address the reduced availability of child care and the unique needs stemming from the pandemic.

Quotes

“High-quality early learning experiences are essential to the intellectual, emotional and physical development of our children. Our government is pleased to continue working with the Government of Alberta to ensure that all children and families in Alberta have equal access to the quality early learning and child care they need to succeed.”
– The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

“Now more than ever, investment in child care is vital to ensuring working parents can lead our economic recovery and grow the economy. We are grateful for our partnership with the federal government and their support of our long-term vision for accessible, affordable, high-quality child care across Alberta.”
– The Honourable Rebecca Schulz, Alberta’s Minister of Children’s Services

Quick facts

  • For Canadian families, high quality, affordable child care is more than a convenience—it’s a necessity. The Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta are ensuring that every child gets the best possible start in life.

  • 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, and will provide an additional $400 million in 2020–21.

  • These important investments in early and learning and child care helped to create close to 40,000 more affordable child care spaces nationally prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Additional funding in 2020–21 will continue to support the early learning and child care sector and will build on this success.

  • The Government of Alberta’s 2020–2021 action plan outlines commitments to increasing the number of licensed child care spaces in the province, subsidizing quality care for lower income families and ensuring child care workers have access to evidence-based training.

  • The Government of Alberta supports the provincial regulated child care system through the Child Care Subsidy Program and the Child Care Grant Funding Program.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the child care sector. The Government of Alberta is committed to supporting its recovery by offsetting costs paid during the COVID-19 closures and offsetting costs associated with reopening so that programs can remain financially viable following the pandemic.

Associated links

Contacts

For media enquiries, please contact:
Jessica Eritou
Office of the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
jessica.eritou@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca


Brock Harrison
Office of the Honourable Rebecca Schulz
Minister of Children's Services
Government of Alberta
Brock.Harrison@gov.ab.ca


Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
819-994-5559
media@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca
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