Details are currently being hammered out on which licensed child care centres will initially be open to provide child care for core service workers.
Children’s Services is working with child care providers to open up to 15,000 child care spaces to ensure child care is available for those providing services that Albertans rely on during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It's too early to say if any of them will be in Cochrane. The centres will be directly notified by Alberta Children's Services, and are initially being chosen based on proximity to health-care facilities. They will be reopened in a phased approach based on areas of need.
Airdrie-Cochrane MLA Peter Guthrie says right now it's extremely important to help essential workers.
"We're working with different service providers to be able to open up this upcoming week, facilities throughout the province to help out those essential workers. This is something we could do in order to get some of these essential health care workers back to work," says Guthrie.
Access will be prioritized to health-care practitioners and critical infrastructure workers. Additional spaces will then be available to first responders (firefighters and police officers) and others.
Parents will be notified this coming week through their employer if they qualify to send their children to newly reopened centres.
The centres will be limited to 30 people, including staff, and will have to adhere to strict sanitization practices based on specific instructions from the chief medical officer of health and Alberta Health. Parents who qualify for subsidy will receive it, and centres will charge their typical rate, within reason.
All other licensed child care centres are to remain closed. As previously stated, licensed day homes may remain open but limited to six children, not including the operators’ own children.
Parents who are eligible should only access this child care if it is the only way they’ll be able to go to their work in a core service sector.