Alberta to announce details on child care funding allocation

CALGARY — Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz and Associate Minister of Status of Women Whitney Issik are slated to announce further details on the allocation of child care funding under the updated federal-provincial agreement.

A press conference is planned for 11 a.m. Monday in Calgary.

The province announced on Friday a renewal of the Canada–Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which will see the federal government provide more than $100 million for program subsidies and recruitment this year.  

According to Schulz, $45 million will be used to make child care more affordable for working parents and $56 million will be spent on professional development and workforce recovery and retention.

She called the extension a “great first step” in negotiations with Ottawa.

But Alberta’s NDP has criticized the UCP government for not yet accessing federal funding B.C. and Nova Scotia are using to implement $10/day child care programs.

The two provinces were the first to take advantage of a national program Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government introduced in April to cut fees and create spaces. Trudeau pledged $27.2 billion over five years to the initiative in the most recent budget.

Alberta NDP Leader Rachel Notley figures the UCP government leaves about $1 million on the table each day it doesn’t take advantage of the money pot, and called Friday’s announcement a “bait and switch.”

When asked why Alberta hadn’t yet worked out a deal with Ottawa, Schulz said the province “didn’t have quite all the information that some of the other provinces had” but that it had received a term sheet this week outlining the parameters of the funding and could soon start negotiations officially.

She earlier said her government was working to make sure Albertans had a variety of options.

With files from CTV Edmonton

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