Following extensive consultation with child care providers, Alberta’s NDP is calling for measures to help keep children and staff in child care settings safe and keep programs running during the COVID-19 third wave.
- Rapid testing to be provided to all child care programs across Alberta.
- $3.2 million in funding for PPE - this would be identical to the funding provided to help programs last summer.
- A guaranteed extension by the UCP government of the federal Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) as many centres are facing potential staff layoffs when the federal program ends.
- Funding for parents who have to remove their child from child care programs due to COVID close contact quarantines or illness to cover the costs of child care fees that child care programs cannot afford to refund.
- A guarantee from the provincial COVID contingency fund to help cover fixed costs for centres should they be forced to shutdown temporarily due to COVID-19 outbreaks or in the event the entire sector is closed.
- Provide educators provincial hourly wage top-up funding for hours when they are sick or quarantining due to COVID, and for hours when they are not in direct child care, which includes cooking, cleaning, and doing administrative work from home because of the closure of child care programs due to COVID.
These supports are necessary to help childcare centres, staff and parents during the third wave and to allow them to help drive Alberta’s economic recovery once the public health crisis is over.