In fall 2022, the Muttart Foundation in partnership with the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta and the Alberta Leaders Caucus sponsored a series of focus group discussions with certified early childhood educators across Alberta. The focus groups provided early childhood educators with the opportunity to share their thoughts on the challenges facing the field and the strategies required to help build workforce capacity as system building begins. They also allocated time for educators to share what they knew and understood about the Canada-Alberta Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement and indicate how they would like to contribute to the work that lies ahead. The following report presents the results from these discussions. It draws on the voices of early childhood educators to help identify the workforce investments required to support early learning and child care system building.

The Workforce Investments Required for Early Learning and Child Care System Building in Alberta: What Early Childhood Educators Have to Say

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.

The State of the Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Sector 14 months into the Pandemic

Canadian charities have a long history of helping to inform and shape public policy at municipal, provincial, and federal levels. For many, it’s a key strategy for advancing their missions.

Whether your organization has experience in public policy advocacy or is relatively new to the field, this extraordinary professional development opportunity will help you improve.

Application Deadline is November 1, 2022

Click here for the PPTI Application form.

About the PPTI

Between January and June of each year, Max Bell Foundation will deliver its annual Public Policy Training Institute (PPTI). PPTI brings together 25 leaders from Canada’s charitable sector whose organizations want to impact the public policy process. Enrollment is open to staff or board members of any Canadian charity.

Selected organizations delegate their representative to attend six monthly two-day sessions. Sessions explore such topics as evidence, policy options, communications and engagement, and implementation. Each participant receives one-on-one coaching during the program to help them develop a policy-ready position on a given issue by program end.

On completion of the program, participants have enhanced their knowledge and skills required to develop, inform, and monitor public policy on issues of strategic importance to their organizations.

Click here to read more about the program.

The Muttart Foundation, along with four other funders, is proving a grant to Carleton University for an exciting new initiative to gather near-real-time data about Canada’s charities.  You can read more here.

The Muttart Foundation presented to the Alberta Legislative Assembly’s Standing Policy Committee on Alberta’s Economic Future on the mandatory review of the Alberta Lobbyists Act. The Foundation is recommending the exemption for public benefit nonprofits remains intact.

Remarks to The Standing Committee on Alberta's Economic Future-Lobbyists Act