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Survey Highlighting Concerns in Childcare Across RMWB

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7
Survey Highlighting Concerns in Childcare Across RMWB

A new study is highlighting some of the bigger concerns facing parents when it comes to local childcare.

The Fort McMurray Early Years Coalition offered the questionnaire to parents across the region – getting over 140 responses.

One of the major concerns brought up was the location and lack of available options.

Speaking on Fort McMurray Matters, Coordinator for the Coalition Janet Huffman says they hear a lot from parents that there are “no childcare spaces available in Fort McMurray.”

“What the survey showed us is the childcare spaces aren’t necessarily where parents want them to be. Parents don’t want to drive more than 5 km to get quality childcare.”

In the RMWB, there are 13 licensed childcare centres and roughly around 60 dayhomes.

“We can’t just put childcare centres in wherever because it’s not necessarily cost-effective, it’s very expensive to run a childcare program,” added Huffman.

That thought was shared by many of the parents who responded as the other main concern was the cost to send their kids to these spaces.

Recently, the provincial government started and has since expanded a $25-a-day program.

This allows licensed spaces to offer a much lower rate, however, as of December 20, only 22 centres across the province were included in the program – including the Willow Lake Tiny Tots Society’s daycare in Anzac.

Beforehand, parents were paying around $1,100 a month as their bottom line.

“We’re really hopeful with the government putting out this expression of interest in the (program) the centres up here will put in the expression and will be successful in getting $25-a-day, that would make a huge difference for our families.”

Huffman adds the coalition will be releasing the full study in the coming weeks as a way to hopefully address some of these concerns.

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