Relief for the child care sector

Up to $17.8 million in grants will be provided to child care centres and approved family day home agencies to ensure they are ready to safely restart and support families through Alberta’s economic recovery.

Day care centres and out-of-school care centres will benefit from a phased approach for these supports.

Phase 1 – $6.7 million:

  • Centres will immediately receive a one-time grant to cover up to 25 per cent of overhead costs like rent and utilities. This accounts for the remaining portion of expenses not covered by funding under federal programs.

Phase 2 – $3.2 million:

  • Upon reopening, centres will receive a grant for cleaning and sanitation supplies to adhere to public health guidelines, as well as to assist with staff recruitment and training.

Phase 3 – $6.9 million:

  • After three months of being open, centres will potentially receive a third grant to offset deferred bills and to address unforeseen operational issues. This will be based on an assessment of other federal and provincial support programs.

“Access to quality child care is going to be an important part of getting Alberta’s economy back on track. We’re providing this money so child care centres will be ready to care for kids as soon as health guidelines allow,” Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz said.

Once child care entres reopen, they will be required to adhere to public health guidelines developed by Children’s Services and Alberta Health. These guidelines will be released as soon as possible.

Approved family day home agencies will also be able to access funding, up to $1 million total, to support current operations and supplies and equipment to adhere to public health guidelines.

This initiative is one element of Alberta’s Relaunch Strategy that must be in place before Alberta can begin to safely remove public health restrictions. 

As of May 5, child care centres have reopened in 29 towns and cities across the province to support essential workers. There are a total of 183 centres open and a total of 4,008 spaces available. All reopened centres were provided a $500 one-time grant for PPE and cleaning supplies, and receive a daily reimbursement for reopened spaces that aren’t filled.

Approved family day homes and private day homes have been permitted to remain open throughout the pandemic. In March, Children’s Services allowed approved family day homes to serve six children, in addition to their own.

About 18,000 Albertans work in the child care sector, serving more than 100,000 children.