Landscape of child care in Edmonton is changing, YMCA of Northern Alberta
EDMONTON, Alberta, April 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — When the Government of Alberta announced the expiration of the provincial work-from-home mandate at the start of March, many organizations called their employees back to work in person, leaving parents in need of child care. With changes to affordability, availability and flexibility of care, many parents are not finding the child care sector as they may have left it at the beginning of the pandemic, for better or worse.
This year, the federal-provincial child care agreement began to come into effect, beginning with the Affordability Grant, funding that subsidizes child care for children ages zero to kindergarten age. The implementation of this grant has reduced child care fees by up to 50% for thousands of parents, a welcome respite in the midst of economic uncertainty.
“We were lucky to participate in the pilot $25/day program a few years ago and saw the huge difference it made in our families’ lives,” says Annalise Yuzda, Vice President of Child Care Services at YMCA of Northern Alberta. The YMCA is western Canada’s largest nonprofit child care provider. “Since the Affordability Grant came in, the relief parents and caregivers are feeling is tangible. Affordable, accessible child care is an absolute necessity — not just for families, but for our economy.”
With numerous companies offering hybrid work-from-home arrangements, many employees require a more flexible child care schedule than they may have needed when working out of the home full-time. This has made finding traditional care in licensed facilities sometimes stressful.
“It’s important for child care providers to be adaptable to the changes to our industry,” Yuzda explains. “At the Y, we are adding flexible, part-time care options at some of our locations to better serve parents who don’t need a more rigid, full-time schedule.”
Yuzda believes that high quality, accessible child care is a key part of our social infrastructure, and applauds the federal-provincial child care agreement for making care affordable to more families. The YMCA remains a strong advocate for child care in the province.
For more information on YMCA of Northern Alberta’s Child Care services, visit https://northernalberta.ymca.ca/childcare.
About YMCA of Northern Alberta
YMCA of Northern Alberta is a registered charity dedicated to building healthy communities since 1907. From providing quality child care and supporting people in their health and wellness, to providing important housing and community outreach programs, the YMCA of Northern Alberta works to strengthen communities in the Wood Buffalo, Grande Prairie, Edmonton and Red Deer regions. For more information, visit northernalberta.ymca.ca.