Edmonton, Alberta Jun 22, 2024 ¬†–¬†Child-care operators in Alberta are expressing frustration and feeling let down by the government’s implementation of the $10/day child-care program. Many operators have threatened to opt out of the program, citing concerns about the program’s sustainability and the government’s lack of understanding about the cost of providing high-quality childcare. Operators voiced their concerns at a town hall meeting on Monday, where the government announced plans to conduct surveys at various child-care centers. The government has warned that operators who do not participate in the survey may face funding cuts.

Krystal Churcher, chair of the Association of Alberta Childcare Entrepreneurs (AACE), acknowledges that providing financial documents to the government may not be an issue. However, she questions the timing of the survey and expresses concern that the government’s approach to the program is not taking into account the realities of operating a high-quality child-care center. Churcher emphasizes that the mandatory nature of the survey and the threat of funding loss have created a sense of unease among operators.

“We can see from how this is rolled out nationally in three years that there’s very little understanding of what it takes to operate a viable high-quality child-care center from any level of government,” Churcher stated, “The feeling that it’s a mandatory survey with a threat of losing access to grants for parents in your center didn’t sit well with operators.” The $10-a-day child-care program, originally slated for implementation in 2026, was signed into agreement by federal governments in November 2021. The agreement includes $3.8 billion in funding and aims to lower child-care fees for Alberta parents while expanding child-care spaces to support vulnerable populations.

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Daniel Martin

Source :Daniel Martin