Edmonton, Alberta, November 15, 2021 – Embolden Private Dayhome Community celebrates with the Alberta early learning and child care sector on the signing of the Alberta Child Care Agreement while acknowledging that much work is yet to be done to achieve truly universal child care in Alberta.
The signing of this new agreement will help thousands of Alberta families access affordable early learning and child care services across the province and is a welcome end to months of negotiation between the provincial and federal governments.
Embolden PDC, however, remains cognizant of the fact that the majority of child care arrangements in Alberta are unregulated and therefore ineligible for the $10/day program that has been promised by the end of 2026.
While the Alberta government has committed to creating 42,500 spaces in licensed non-profit programs and family dayhomes, there will remain a regulated child care space deficit of nearly 125,000 long after $10/day child care has been implemented in the province.
Unable to access regulated care, thousands of Alberta parents will continue to rely on unlicensed child care arrangements to meet their child care needs. These unregulated arrangements, whether they be with family, friends, nannies, or private dayhome providers, come together to meet the demand for child care in the province in a practical way. However, with a lack of visibility and few minimum standards in place to ensure quality and safety within the unlicensed sector, these arrangements are often undervalued and lack formal support for providers and parents.
“It is time that the Government of Alberta acknowledged the continued prevalence of unregulated child care within the province so that we can begin to work together to ensure that all children have access to safe and affordable child care – no matter the circumstances in which they receive that care” said Danielle Bourdin, Executive Director of Embolden PDC.
The newly signed Alberta Child Care Agreement is a great step in the direction of affordable, accessible, and quality child care for all. But a truly universal system cannot be obtained without the purposeful inclusion of the independent sector.
Embolden Private Dayhome Community is a support network dedicated to improving the safety and quality of unlicensed child care in Alberta through the provision of professional development opportunities, community support, and evidence-based resources.