Excerpted from the executive summary
January 2021 will mark the expiry of Alberta’s 2007 Child Care Licensing Act and regulations. Much has changed since this legislation came into force. A large and growing body of research has accumulated on the importance of high-quality early learning and child care care—not just for children and families, but for the enormous benefit it has for economies, communities and societies.
There is growing recognition that child care and education are inextricably linked. And there is clear evidence that children’s experiences in their early years have a powerful, lasting effect on their future success. High-quality early learning and child care is the foundation for health and well-being throughout life. It provides children with rich, varied and nurturing learning experiences that help them develop and grow into healthy, well-adjusted, self-reliant adults who have the skills they need to succeed at school, at work and in life.
Across Canada and around the globe, governments are moving away from the historically rooted model of child care as custodial care toward a model that acknowledges the importance of children’s early years and respects the rights of children as citizens. This new model places the child at the heart of an integrated system that includes research, policy, quality delivery, sustainable funding, governance, partnerships, evidence-based curricula and supportive workplaces.