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Alberta announces plan to subsidize childcare using federal funding

The UCP government will receive $290 million over 4 years, yet announced plans to spend $45 million on childcare subsidies.

Last week, the federal government announced that it had agreed to extend the Canada–Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, which was scheduled to expire this past March.

As part of the agreement, the feds will provide over $290 million in funding over 4 years to Alberta to improve childcare and early learning programmes and services.

Yesterday, the provincial government said that it plans to used $45 million of that money to partially subsidize childcare costs for families with a household income of up to $90,000 a year.

The subsidization is staged, meaning the more you make, the less money you get. It also varies depending on the age of the child and and the programme the child is enrolled in.

For example, here are the rates for daycare and out-of-school care rates for licensed facility-based programming:

IncomeInfantPreschoolerSchool age
up to $49,999$741$644$366
$50,000 to $54,999$704$612$348
$55,000 to $59,999$630$547$311
$60,000 to $64,999$556$483$275
$65,000 to $69,999$482$419$238
$70,000 to $74,999$408$354$201
$75,000 to $79,999$333$290$165
$80,000 to $84,999$259$225$128
$85,000 to $89,999$185$161$92
Infant: up to 18 months
Preschooler: 19 months up to Grade 1
School age: Grades 1–6

This works out to be about $8.54–34.20 a day for infants, $7.43–29.72 a day for preschoolers, and $4.25–16.89 a day for after-school care. That’s based on weekday usage.

For licensed preschool programmes, however, the province is offering a flat rate subsidy of $125 a month, regardless of income level. That’s about $5.77 a day.

The preschool subsidy is being paid for using about $4.25 million of the $45 million in federal funding the province is—to use their word— “directing” to childcare subsidization.

And here are the rates for licensed day homes:

IncomeInfantPreschoolerSchool age
$0 to $49,999$614$516$366
$50,000 to $54,999$583$490$348
$55,000 to $59,999$522$439$311
$60,000 to $64,999$461$387$275
$65,000 to $69,999$399$335$238
$70,000 to $74,999$338$284$201
$75,000 to $79,999$276$232$165
$80,000 to $84,999$215$181$128
$85,000 to $89,999$154$129$92

The UCP government also plans to use $4 million of that same $45 million to top up wages for early childhood educators in preschools.

The $400 million in federal funding could affect about 12,000 children, according to a media release posted yesterday.

By Kim Siever

I live in Lethbridge with my spouse and 4 of our 6 children. I’m a writer, focusing on political news, social issues, and the occasional poem. My politics are radically left.

I’m also dichotomally Mormon. And I’m a functional vegetarian: I have a blog post about that somewhere around here. My pronouns are he/him, and I’m queer.

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