This past March, the provincial government announced that effective 1 April, the provincial child care accreditation funding programme would be cancelled.
Rebecca Schulz, the minister of children’s services, said at the time that the accreditation programme duplicated the licensing programme. The government had consulted with childcare providers across the province and believed that eliminating accreditation would reduce bureaucratic red tape, which they framed as too much red tape for providers.
The Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta, however—which has over 1,000 members providing child care in the province— claimed that they hadn’t been consulted. AECEA labelled the licensing programme as less comprehensive as the accreditation programme, covering only what they referred to as the “bare minimums” around safety and supervision.
The chair of the Alberta Association for the Accreditation of Early Learning and Childcare Services was quoted as being “almost overwhelmed by sadness and helplessness” at the announcement.
Apparently this red tape reduction wasn’t enough. This past Monday, the government announced that they were going to begin even more consultations next week, but this time with parents and early childhood educators.
It’s unclear why they didn’t include them in the first round of consultations.
The feedback they receive will help inform the drafting of updated regulations and legislation this autumn, which expires next January.