The NDP plan to create 78 more Early Learning and Child Care Centres in addition to the 22 centres that already exist. That would create an additional 4,500 $25 a day child care spaces around Alberta. Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee says this will represent about 20 per cent of the licensed child care spaces.
The 22 pilot project centres were launched this past spring and were approved for $500,000 for one year, with a potential two year extension after that. New applicants will be hoping to qualify for the same funding. The first phase cost $10 million and was funded by the province fully, the funding for the second phase is coming from the federal government.
The Bonnyville & District Daycare Centre is part of the pilot project, and expanded to 71 spaces this past fall. The province says they are looking specifically for programs that offer “innovative approaches to support families” like extended hours or specific cultural or learning supports.
Larivee says she expects interest to come from around the province much like it did during the first phase. The province will be accepting applications until January 31 and then will announced the new locations in the spring. It is expected to include both rural and urban communities.
According to Larivee the initial phase created 700 new child care spaces in the province and 120 jobs for child care workers.
Written by Tricia Kindleman, 104.7 2day FM