More $25-a-day child care spaces are opening in the Peace Country. Alberta premier Rachel Notley announced Wednesday that seven existing Early Learning and Child Care Centres in Grande Prairie, Clairmont, Beaverlodge, and Manning will be transitioning to the program.
Two new ELCCs will also be opening in Grande Prairie. Dunvegan – Central Peace – Notley MLA Marg McCuaig-Boyd says more affordable child care options are needed as the economy in the region recovers.
“We knows things are ramping up in the region and we know people are coming here for work, so in addition to hearing we need some more housing… to get people to work we absolutely need quality day care and affordable day care.”
As part of the province’s initial pilot program, the Children’s Centre Demonstration Preschool at Grande Prairie Regional College was turned into a $25-a-day child care program, along with A Child’s World Day Care Centre in Fairview, and the Sugar Plum Tree Daycare in Peace River. McCuaig-Boyd was once the board president of the Fairview location, and says it has been well received.
“I’ve seen the impact that has on a community and I’ve had many parents stop me and thank our government for doing this because it’s made such a difference for both [parents] being able to get to work. In some cases it’s almost a mortgage payment.”
A new francophone daycare will be opening at École Nouvelle Frontière by this end of this August. The Conseil scolaire du Nord-Ouest No 1 says Garderie les Petits Boucs is an essential addition to the Grande Prairie francophone community.
“This long-awaited daycare service will support Francophone families by providing accessible quality childcare service, in an environment that promotes the well-being of the child, as well as maintaining and strengthening the francophone language and culture.”
The other new ELCC opening in Grande Prairie will be opened by the YMCA of Northern Alberta at the new St. John Paul II Catholic School, which will see classes start on April 30th. The YMCA’s child care centres in Clairmont and Patterson will also become part of the $25-a-day program.
“The opportunity to offer more affordable child care helps us create the impact we want to have in the community, particularly to advance positive child, youth, and family development,” says Nick Parkinson, YMCA of Northern Alberta President & CEO. “We thank the province for entrusting our charity with this additional investment to support families through child care that is high-quality, affordable, and accessible.”
The other Grande Prairie locations picked by the province are A Bright Beginning Child Care Centre in the Prairie Plaza and Building Blocks Daycare Centre at GPRC. The Beaverlodge Day Care, the Manning Early Childhood Child Care Centre, and the Valleyview & District Early Learning & Childcare Centre Society are the other three part of Wednesday’s announcement.