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    Province to expand $25 a day child care pilot program

    The province is expanding the affordable child care pilot program with the creation of an additional 78 $25-a-day child care centres.
    “Child care in Alberta is far too expensive for families, and that’s exactly why our government is taking action to make affordable, quality child care more accessible,” said Minister of Children’s Services Danielle Larivee at the announcement Dec. 19.
    “Our work with the Government of Canada and child care professionals in Alberta is the next step towards making life better for families with universal, affordable, quality child care in Alberta,” she said.
    In partnership with the federal government, the province is expanding the current $25 per day Early Learning and Child Care Centres pilot program with up to an additional 78 new centres in the new year.
    This will increase the number from the current 22 to 100 centres in communities across Alberta.
    The original pilot program was launched in the spring of 2017 to provide quality affordable child care to Alberta parents.
    Calgary parent Danielle Pitman spoke at the program expansion announcement.
    “I was pleased to be able to enroll my son in an Early Learning and Child Care Centre.
    “The programming and supports are amazing and I have appreciated that my daycare expenses are now affordable,” she said, “Additional centres will make a significant difference for families across Alberta.”
    With the expansion, an additional 4,500 affordable child care spaces will be created across the province.
    Existing non-profit child care organizations and people interested in starting one have until Jan. 31, 2018 to apply to the province for a three-year operating grant.
    The funding for the program comes from a June 2017 Multilateral Early Learning and Child Care Framework agreement between the federal government and Canada’s provincial and territorial governments.
    The program expansion is coming as part of the federal governments investment in affordable child care across the country.
    For more information on the application process go to https://www.alberta.ca/early-learning-child-care-centres.aspx.