COVID-19: Alberta NDP calls for more money for child care facilities to cover bills

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Child care facilities should get government money earmarked for subsidies to help cover their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alberta NDP said Thursday.

The majority of facilities are closed amid the health crisis meaning they haven’t been getting government subsidies, wage top ups or any payments from parents.

“With no source of income, most child care centres are no longer able to cover their fixed costs, the most pressing of which are lease payments,” saidNDP Children’s Services critic Rakhi Pancholi on Thursday.

The YMCA of Northern Alberta laid off 650 people in mid March. The organization runs 72 child care facilities in the region.

Right now they are “scrambling” to work with landlords to come up with a solution, said Annalise Yuzda, vice president of child care.

“Everything we get goes back into our programs,” she said. “We don’t have surplus money around.”

Yuzda said the YMCA been working well with the various school boards to help the programs that are school-based. Other locations are more expensive.