Ottawa, Alberta reach deal for ‘affordable, quality child care,’ province says

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Ottawa, Alberta reach deal for 'affordable, quality child care,' province says

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney are expected to announce details of a child-care agreement Monday morning.

A deal for “affordable, quality child care” has been reached, the province said in a news release Sunday evening. 

Trudeau, along with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Karina Gould, will be joined by Kenney and Alberta’s Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz at a press conference scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. on Monday. 

The government representatives will also be joined by Shannon Doram, president and CEO of the YMCA Calgary, and Heather Gomme, owner and director of It’s a Child’s World, Family Day Home Agency. 

Ottawa announced $30 billion over five years and $8.3 billion ongoing to create a quality and affordable child-care system as part of this year’s budget, unveiled last April.

The federal budget stipulates any new plan must meet three criteria: funds must go “primarily” to non-profit early learning centres; funds must pay for the training of early childhood educators; and the money must be spent to halve average child-care fees by the end of 2022 and reduce child-care costs to an average of $10 per day by 2026.

The Alberta government launched negotiations with Ottawa in July, before the federal election was called. 

In August, Kenney was demanding the federal government give the province unconditional funding for early learning and child care similar to what Quebec has negotiated.

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