October 5, 2022

Last Updated

September 6, 2023


The Muttart Foundation

Practice Area

Early Childhood Education and Care

In April 2021, the Childcare Resource and Research Unit undertook a second national survey of regulated child care services to explore how they were faring one year into the pandemic. Using these survey data, the Muttart Foundation prepared the following report which compares the pandemic experiences of regulated child care centres in Alberta with those of centres in other selected regions of Canada. Alberta child care centres were among the hardest hit by the pandemic. They experienced significant falls in enrollment, service disruptions and rising service costs which destabilized centre finances and operations. Alberta child care centres relied heavily on federal funding support during the first year of the pandemic to meet their revenue shortfalls. They received less provincial support than centres in other regions, however, and were more likely to report financial difficulties than centres nationally. The service and financial challenges many Alberta child care centres experienced during the first year of the pandemic suggest the need for new provincial investments to stabilize centre finances and operations as the focus shifts to early learning and care system building. The provincial government should pay particular attention to the needs of the workforce and the financial stability of those child care centres hit hardest by lower enrollments and rising service costs.