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Affordable daycare expanding across Alberta

Provost is one of the communities taking part in the Government of Alberta’s pilot program for affordable daycare that will see fees capped at $25 per day.

Alberta announced on Thursday, that they will be expanding their pilot program for Early Learning and Child Care Centres (ELCC), which provide flexible care for children aged zero to kindergarten. Program Coordinator for the Provost Daycare Society Robyne Hottot says that they are a non profit organization that wanted to give back to their community with the pilot program.

“We are able to offer a lot more resources to vulnerable families. Secondary, of course the financial aspect of it, daycare fees are much more affordable. We see a lot of women going back to work because they can afford day care now.”

In 2017, the government launched 22 pilot ELCC Centres and is now creating up to 78 additional centres with a new three year agreement that will see $136 million being invested in early child care across the province. Minister of Families and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos says that the development of child care systems is one of the best investments the government is making to strengthen Canadian families and the economy.

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“Through the agreement signed with the Government of Alberta, we will be able to better support parents, families and communities in their efforts to build high-quality, inclusive and affordable early learning and child care.”

In Provost, the daycare society is the only licensed care centre in town and Hottot says that the capacity has doubled since the program started.

“We have a very growing community. We’ve had wait lists and we’ve had parents that needed childcare, we’ve had parents that couldn’t afford childcare that we would here through the grape vines, that would like to go back to work. So we’ve just felt like our small community had such a huge need for childcare that we did compare to bigger centres.”

The daycare has received funding for a second year and will continue to grow with the program.

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