Alberta parents will see lower childcare fees in 2024, thanks to grant increase: Minister

Parents of young children in daycares will be able to save hundreds of dollars on childcare, as the Alberta Affordability Grant is expanding starting next month. Henna Saeed reports.

More financial support is on the way for Alberta daycare operators, which means parents in the province can expect cheaper childcare fees in the new year.

Per-space grants to eligible daycare operators are increasing on Jan. 1 — a result of the joint federal-provincial child care agreement.

Searle Turton, minister of children and family services, tells CityNews this means 80 per cent of parents that rely on childcare across the province will soon see a drop in their daycare bills.

“Some parents might be receiving over $200 in savings regarding early childcare,” he said. “This is going to be an absolute game changer.

“This is part of my mandate letter which really marches the province toward $10-a-day daycare by 2026 and 2027.”

The minister says at this point, the average cost for daycare is about $20 per day, but since the agreement was signed in 2021, monthly childcare costs have dropped by about 50 per cent.

Alberta’s childcare system is undergoing some major changes, Turton explains.

“We are really changing the entire system in a transformational way from a parent-funded system to a predominantly government-funded system,” he said.

This will make a big difference for families, Turton says.

“Having moms and dads with the ability to decide if they want to go back to work, have their child in childcare, is an absolute gamechanger for so many families,” he said.

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