As you may know, some child care centres have been selected to open their doors to provide childcare to Alberta’s essential services workers. Thank you to those centres who are open and supporting those working to fight the COVID-19 pandemic on the front lines.

The fact that childcare programs are being asked to reopen after the shut down clearly demonstrates that childcare itself is an essential service. Legislators nationwide are recognising that we will be hard pressed to manage this pandemic without it.

As a child care centre operator, Terra is advocating that the Government of Alberta provide guaranteed funding to ensure that these centres are fully compensated for their operating costs.  Whether the lights are on for 20 children or 100 children, operating costs are fixed. In addition to fixed operating costs, there are additional cost considerations that need to be considered to adhere to increased safety and sanitation practices.

This is not business as usual.

Children of essential service workers who are attending these childcare programs will be experiencing stress along with their families. Early Childhood Educators have their own families to consider through this health crisis.

Even in more normal times, providing child care that is in the best interests of children and their families is a complex endeavor.  In times like these, it is critical to recognise that highly skilled and trusted early childhood educators are working under stressful conditions. Nutritional meals, routine, a stimulating environment and warm, responsive, nurturing relationships are even more essential. With consideration of the high level of risk for those working on the front line of this global pandemic, it is clear that those child care centres who are operating must also be acknowledged for their own work on the front lines, and compensated appropriately.

We welcome you to read the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta’s (AECEA) position paper and recommendations here.

These are very complex and challenging times that we are all navigating together. We encourage you to share this post with your networks and join us in supporting those early childcare workers who fighting the COVID-19 pandemic in their own way – supporting Alberta’s essential service workers.