Premier Danielle Smith has appointed Minister of Jobs, Economy and Trade, Matt Jones, to lead the province’s work on child care. The move comes as a way to address the concerns of operators and to ensure childcare remains sustainable for Alberta families.

According to the province, Alberta's government has worked collaboratively with the federal government to ensure the province’s unique mixed market of child-care providers, including both private and non-profit operators of various sizes and complexity, can fully participate and succeed under the Canada-Alberta Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.

"Recently, child-care operators have expressed several concerns relating to long-term sustainability and a lack of flexibility under the agreement. To provide immediate support, Alberta’s government is actively working on a new system that will streamline payment processes and ensure child-care operators receive affordability grant payments faster," the province stated.

As work with the federal government continues, alongside work on a new payment system, Minister of Children and Family Services, Searle Turton will turn his attention to the core mandate of his portfolio: protecting children, preventing family violence, early childhood development, and supporting foster and kinship caregivers, as well as those pursuing adoption.

In response to the announcement, The Association of Alberta Childcare Entrepreneurs (AACE) said that it's pleased with the announcement.

"We are very encouraged by the Government's announcement and wish to personally acknowledge and thank Premier Smith for her dedication to understanding our sector's concerns and for taking swift, decisive action. Having Minister Jones, with his extensive experience and previous engagement with the childcare portfolio, take the lead on this file assures us of a seamless transition and a quick adaptation to the pressing needs of our industry," said Krystal Churcher, Chair of AACE. 

The AACE added that the decision to place the childcare file under the purview of the Jobs, Economy, and Trade Ministry resonates strongly with childcare operators.

"This move acknowledges the significant role that the childcare industry plays as an economic enabler for Alberta. It also highlights the importance of workforce development within the sector, including crucial areas such as skills development, training, and accreditation processes, to meet the government's goals of increasing childcare spaces."

In January, the AACE said it had convened several emergency member meetings to strategize a response to the January 31st deadline for signing the Affordability Grant Agreement. 

"Alberta’s childcare operators have no choice but to sign the 2024 Affordability Grant agreement. If they don’t sign, it means immediate insolvency for some and drastic service reductions for others; if they do sign and nothing changes, it means an inability for some operators to remain financially viable over time and reduction of services across the sector," Churcher previously stated. "The ball is in the Alberta Government’s court to come up with emergency funds. If they don’t, they will have to explain to Albertans why they let some childcare operators go insolvent and why childcare services have been reduced across the province."


  • In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Reach FM app at

According to the AACE, the inception of the $10/day childcare announcement made the childcare industry financially vulnerable.

"With the government set to cover approximately 85 per cent of childcare fees in 2024, concerns intensify due to the 40-45 day delay in these payments to operators. Additionally, the childcare sector has had fees frozen and grant amounts increased by a mere 3 per cent annually, which falls well below the inflation index for the same period."

The AACE also underlined that the agreement imposed, 'massive administrative costs on operators, estimated on average to be approximately $25/month/child - a financial burden that childcare operators have been carrying for 24 months.'