By Carol Scott, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette
Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development announced on September 22nd that the Government of Alberta will receive $72 million of the $625 million in federal support for Canada’s child care sector to help ensure that safe and sufficient child care is available to support parents’ gradual return to work. This funding is in addition to the $45 million Alberta is receiving through the 2020-21 Canada-Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Bilateral Agreement to support child care programs and services for Alberta families.
“The availability of affordable, high-quality and flexible child care will be key to ensuring Canadian parents can return to work and our economy can recover from this crisis,” said Minister Hussen. “The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the child care sector to ensure all Canadian families will have access to the quality child care they need.”
Along with the agreements under the Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework, the Safe Restart funding means the Government of Canada will invest nearly $1.2 billion to support child care in 2020-2021, the largest federal child care investment in history.
This investment through the Safe Restart Agreement will help address the key priorities agreed upon by Canada’s First Ministers for the safe restart of Canada’s economy over the next six to eight months.
“We are pleased to see Albertans’ contributions coming back to our province through this agreement with the federal government. This funding will ensure safe, reliable child care continues to be available as it is a crucial part of Alberta’s economic recovery, said Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services of Alberta. “We are providing child care and early learning programs this support throughout the fall so they can keep their centres safe for kids in their care.”