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Grande Prairie MLA leading childcare consultation tour

Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard will lead public consultation efforts to ensure parents and early childhood educators have their say on reducing red tape and improving quality and safety in child care. With the current Child Care Licensing Regulation set to expire on Janunary 31, 2021, Allard says any possible revisions to modernize provisions and ensure safety and quality should be spoken with those who use, and work in, the sector.

“I really do believe that the best way to legislate is to talk to the people who have lived experience in that space,” she says. “To me, that would be the service providers, obviously the parents who put their children into care and early childhood educators.”

Allard adds they contemplated pushing the consultations to the fall, but says when they spoke with stakeholders, they were urged to make sure there was an appropriate amount of time not only to collect the data but to analyze it and make responsive choices. She adds she is looking forward to hearing what all involved have to say, despite limitations due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings.

“Obviously, with COVID it’s a little bit atypical. I was originally scheduled to do it in April and I was actually going to physically drive around the province and meet these wonderful people.”

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There are more than 2,900 active licensed and approved programs in the province, with more than 138,000 child care spaces in Alberta.

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