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New payment model aims to make affordable child care easier on daycares

Details have been released on a new payment system the Alberta government says will make affordable childcare easier on providers.

Under the 2024 Affordability Grant for childcare agreement – better known as the national $10-a-day daycare – licensed child care operators will now see 80 per cent of expected costs paid at the start of each month.

The remaining 20 per cent will be submitted with actuals at the end of each month.

“Long story short, operators now receive the vast majority of their funding upfront, to enable them to have better cash flow, and operational support,” Matt Jones, minister of jobs, economy and trade said at a press conference Friday.

The program is a joint arrangement between the federal and provincial governments.

In January, childcare providers raised concerns after grant funding was increased to lower the average fees paid by parents to around $15 a day.

The lower fees reportedly caused cash flow problems as providers paid more out of pocket throughout the month, and the Association of Alberta Child Care Entrepreneurs warned of “rolling blackouts” in protest of the program.

On Friday, Jones said 99 per cent of Alberta child care operators had signed onto the 2024 subsidy agreement, which will last 15 months.

Jones said Alberta is working with the federal government to hit the $10-a-day benchmark by March 2026, and there are plans to add 10,000 new childcare spaces in the next three years.

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