News / Calgary

New $25-a-day daycare opens in southwest Calgary

The Thornhill Childcare Society opened the new affordable centre in September and now serves 84 children

Taneesha, 2, plays inside the new affordable daycare centre in Calgary.

Jennifer Friesen / For Metro

Taneesha, 2, plays inside the new affordable daycare centre in Calgary.

After returning to her hometown of Calgary with a newborn in tow, Sara Geddes was living in Calgary Housing this past winter when she heard some good news: a new affordable daycare was opening in the city.

The provincially funded childcare centre cares for children up to six years old for a maximum of $25 a day.

“I was so excited about what this could mean for (my son) Jayce and me,” said Geddes. “I applied and I’m so thankful we were successful. It’s been a joy watching him socialize and interact with other kids.”

The city and the Calgary Housing Company celebrated the opening of the new centre on Wednesday, inside a city-owned affordable housing property in the southwest community of Manchester.

The daycare is one of 22 different centres across Alberta who have been funded by the Government of Alberta.

“For too long in Canada, and especially here in Alberta, it’s been tremendously hard for parents to find accessible, affordable, high quality early learning and childcare,” said Danielle Larivee, Minister of Children’s Services. “When the cost of childcare costs as much as a second mortgage, or even more, many parents are forced to make some pretty tough choices when it comes to their childcare.”

Larivee added that this pilot program is “only a beginning,” and that the NDP government wants to create a universal, affordable child care program for the province.

The centre is operated by Thornhill Childcare Society and currently serves 84 children. According to Neela Ward, executive director of Thornhill Child Care Society, 50 per cent of those children hadn’t attended a licensed or regulated program before.

Since Geddes’ son, Jayce, was accepted to the program, she’s been able to return to work and continue to build a full life for them both.

“We have hope for the future” she said. “And that means everything to me.”

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