Childcare is Changing with Alberta’s Bill 39: What You Need to Know

As of February 1st, 2021, many changes are coming into effect for Alberta child care programs. This is resulting from the Alberta government’s passage of Bill 39 in December 2020, which allows centres to focus on the learning and development of children and have a more streamlined licensing process.

Let’s take a closer look at what this means for the Early Learning and Child Care Act, what changes centres can expect to see, and how HiMama is here to help!

Centres all across Alberta are already using HiMama to improve the quality of their program by going digital and freeing their staff to focus on the children, not the paperwork – and with Bill 39’s changes, there are even more compelling reasons to go digital. Centres can look to use their provincial framework within HiMama, communicate with families, track attendance, and share all those special moments.

💻 Modernized Child Care

  • Centres can now keep digital record-keeping. This will allow educators to spend more time to support children and families in their communities, instead of time on paperwork. 
  • Changing the name of the Act to reflect the importance of early childhood learning and development.
  • Updated use of language, terms, and best practices to align with standards and expectations. 
  • Creating a more modern system to allow families to have more transparency into centers as they looking to care for their children.

🦺 Quality and Safety for Centres

  • Setting mandatory expectations for quality and safety. Having a set of rules to follow will allow centres to better comply with regulations while ensuring set check-ins by licensing to maintain high expectations. 
  • Risk-based licensing. Licensing will place more focus on centres that need help with compliance and lower the frequency of check-ins for centres that show high-quality standards. Centres can expect longer times between licensing visits and have between 1-3 years for initial license terms.

👨‍👨‍👦 Increased Transparency for Parents

  • Centres will be required to notify parents of license changes or issues related to their license with their license. Currently, centres can post a bulletin and this will allow for families to find out if centers have been ordered to stop caring for children. 
  • Enable Children’s Services to notify parents of stop-orders with a provider. 
  • The province is looking to launch an online tool to help aid parents in making informed decisions about the child care they are choosing. 

📋 Reduced Red Tape

  • Moving from five program types to two (facility-based and home-based). This is to make the licensing process easier for centers by removing unnecessary paperwork. 
  • Providing more support for license applicants earlier in the process.
  • Streamlining the application process for established providers who are expanding programs.

👩‍👩‍👧 More Flexibility for Providers

  • Centres can now offer 24-hour a day child care under additional standards to ensure health and safety.  This will allow centres to help provide safe and quality care for families who work shift work if needed. 
  • Creating more flexibility for the mix of age groups. This will help centers with staffing and adaptation to COVID-19. 
  • Reduction of the red tape with updates that allow for flexibility to child care providers. 

Running a Child Care Centre is Hard…

We’d love to make it a little much easier! Did you know that parents are increasingly evaluating childcare centres on whether they offer digital parental communication, photo and video updates, and contactless check-in and billing? With Bill 39’s changes in Alberta, it’s even easier to make this decision.

HiMama is an all-in-one app to help you with all that, and boost your enrollment! Get a FREE 15-minute consultation on how to go digital here.

Ria Simon

Ria Simon in the Community Ambassador at HiMama. Prior to starting at HiMama, Ria was an Early Childhood Educator and worked 6 years in the classroom. She taught all ages but mainly preschoolers. Ria lives in Toronto with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her niece and nephew and being on the water.

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