Supporting parents by increasing access to affordable child care | Appuyer les parents albertains en augmentant l’accès à des services de garde abordables

Supported by investments from the federal government, Alberta is directing $45 million to further support families earning up to $90,000 with their child care costs. This means approximately 12,000 more children will receive support, including children enrolled in preschool programs.   

Parent choice is important, and that’s why Alberta’s government is directing $4.25 million of this funding to support families with children attending licensed preschools. Eligible families will receive $125 per month to assist with fees for child care. Previously, subsidy funding was only available for licensed daycare, family day home and out-of-school care programs.

The province is also directing over $4 million to provide wage top-ups for early childhood educators in preschool to support the Alberta government’s commitment to high-quality child care for all Albertans.

“Our government knows access to safe, high-quality, affordable early learning and child care options will make a difference for working parents and their children, and support Alberta’s economic recovery. These investments are targeted, based on what we heard Albertans need, and are the next step in our longer-term strategy to support the choices parents are making.”Rebecca Schulz, Minister of Children’s Services

“This is great news for preschools in Alberta. Preschool educators work hard every day to support children and their early childhood education. Including preschool educators in wage top-ups now recognizes that preschool education is a venue for high-quality child care on the same level as daycare and out-of-school care programs. It will help us to retain and attract qualified staff. Reintroducing preschool subsidy will make it easier for parents to access high-quality educational care for their children.”Jennifer Sissons, owner and director, A Child First Preschool

“As early childhood educators and preschool owners, we’ve been passionately advocating for these changes to preschool subsidy and wage top-up. This will help us acknowledge and retain our skilled educators. It will also give parents some welcome financial relief. Thanks to the Government of Alberta for addressing these concerns. We’re ecstatic about this announcement.”Dina Ottoni-Battistessa and Tristan Katz, Alberta Preschool Advocacy Association

Quick facts

  • Starting Sept. 1, families earning a household income of up to $90,000 will be eligible to receive child care subsidy. Prior to this change, the eligibility threshold was up to $75,000.
    • Parents eligible for subsidy under the new changes can check if they’re eligible and apply for subsidy online starting Aug. 16.
  • Families who are seeking subsidy for licensed preschool programs must meet the same child care eligibility criteria as daycare and out-of-school care, and can apply through the current system.
    • The subsidy will be $125 per month for all eligible families with children enrolled in a licensed preschool program.
    • The average preschool fee in Alberta was $190 per month in March 2020.
  • Preschool wage top-ups will support up to 1,300 certified early childhood educators working in licensed preschools. More information will be provided to preschool program operators in the coming days.
  • This announcement builds on the increased support for parents that use out-of-school care. Effective July 1, subsidy rates have increased for eligible school-aged children enrolled in out-of-school care programs, for the months of July and August.

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