News / Calgary

Alberta Childcare Association committee reviewing childcare regulations

The group would like to be ready for when the province does open the childcare legislation up for review

Ceira Lynn McGrath died after being left to sleep in a car seat at her unlicensed day home last November. Her family is now fighting for legislation changes.

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Ceira Lynn McGrath died after being left to sleep in a car seat at her unlicensed day home last November. Her family is now fighting for legislation changes.

The Alberta Childcare Association (ACA) said they’ve created a committee who is ready to review the province’s childcare licensing regulations that expire at the end of October.

Manna Middleton, chair elect for ACA said the province hasn’t officially begun a review.

“It’s not officially open but we have started a committee that is ready to go when it does open up,” she said.

Middleton said their committee is beginning with research—looking at things like the Muttart Foundation’s work, and are also looking at what other provinces are doing that Alberta could adopt.

Metro spoke with Ryan McGrath, father of toddler Ceira McGrath–who died after going into medical distress at her Silverado day home, and whose caregiver now faces criminal negligence charges.

He said he’s all for review and would like to see some of Ontario’s legislation regarding unlicensed day homes.

“The changes there are recent,” he said. “It’s the idea of not having this regulated licensed business and an un-regulated free-for-all.”

Middleton said one thing that needs to happen is making society and parents aware of the differences between licensed day homes and daycares and what she referred to as “private babysitting.”

“Licensed quality programs are regulated by the government, they’re well supported and have to follow standards and procedures and have accountability,” she said.

Middleton said the ACA also recognizes that waiting lists are causing issues.

“Especially in these large city centers we recognize a concern for parents,” she said. “There are waiting lists and they’re not able to find a program. We’re really working with government to increase these spaces and make sure they’re quality spaces.”

McGrath said his family’s biggest barrier initially when choosing a childcare facility for their twins was waitlists.

Middleton said increasing capacity, as well as the knowledge and ongoing education of adults working in childcare is the number one way to insure quality care for children. She also said programs making childcare affordable for all parents are needed.

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