Alberta, Canada governments increasing access to jobs for immigrant women in province’s growing licensed child-care sector

News Release

Removing employment barriers for immigrant women

The governments of Alberta and Canada are increasing access to jobs for immigrant women in the province’s growing licensed child-care sector.

Access to safe, good quality and affordable child care is critical to ensuring Alberta parents can return to work and foster economic growth in the province. With a commitment to creating a total of up to 68,700 new licensed child-care spaces by 2026, up to 9,000 new early childhood educators will be needed to fully staff these spaces.

Alberta’s government is partnering with the federal government to invest more than $1.4 million for a pilot project with the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association to help immigrant women start or grow careers as certified early childhood educators. The project is designed to remove barriers and improve access to and completion of post-secondary early childhood education and other essential pre-employment training.

“Quality child care starts with quality educators. Our investment of more than $1.4 million will create new and rewarding opportunities for immigrant women in Alberta and support the need for more early childhood educators in the province’s growing child-care sector.”Mickey Amery, Minister of Children’s Services

By training women from diverse communities and backgrounds in early childhood education, this project will also increase parental choice for child-care options that meet their children’s cultural, linguistic and learning needs.

“This pilot program will provide immigrant women the support they need to develop their skills through new, innovative employment training while supporting job placement after completion of the program. Forwarding initiatives like the Bow Valley College and Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association Pilot Program can only further strengthen our workforce and improve our child-care sector.”Tanya Fir, parliamentary secretary for the Status of Women

The pilot project is in partnership with Bow Valley College, which will provide the level 1 and 2 early childhood educator training in three online streams depending on students’ language and literacy levels. It is designed to support barrier-free access to the labour market for immigrant women while placing them in careers that will strengthen the economy and Alberta’s licensed child-care sector.

“Investing in early childhood educators is investing in children and our collective future. Early childhood educators are at the very heart of the Canada-wide early learning and childcare system, helping to provide the foundation upon which our children’s well-being and academic success is built. This announcement will help grow the Alberta workforce and support those who are considering this important career.”Karina Gould, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

The training will be provided to about 230 immigrant women and uses a virtual delivery model so that students can receive customized training tailored to their individual needs. The pilot project will also support job placement services to clients.

Funded through the Alberta-Canada Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the pilot project is one of many actions to support completion of post-secondary early childhood education programs. It will also help attract, retain, train and certify early childhood educators to support the growth of Alberta’s child-care system.

“Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association is fully committed to supporting Alberta’s child-care space creation initiative. In partnership with Bow Valley College, we will be delivering a customized training program that builds on the assets that immigrant women bring to Canada as we prepare them for employment in the province’s licensed child-care sector.” Eva Szasz-Redmond Med, director of programs, Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association

“We are proud to be part of this partnership, expanding our relationship with the Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association, educating immigrant women for more than a decade. Offering virtual learning will give these aspiring women the confidence to pursue this life-changing opportunity without sacrificing other priorities.”Brad Mauro, associate dean, early childhood education programs, Bow Valley College

Quick facts

  • As part of the $3.8-billion Alberta-Canada Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, about $300 million over five years is allocated to assist child-care operators with hiring more early childhood educators and keeping the ones already working across the province.
  • As part of its Canada-wide agreement, Alberta has committed to ensure that child care in Alberta reflects the diverse communities and specific needs in the province.
    • The $1.4-million grant will be funded through the inclusion pillar of the Alberta-Canada Canada-wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement.
  • To help attract and retain staff in licensed child-care spaces, Alberta’s government has:
    • Increased enrolment capacity for the free level 1 child-care orientation course from 4,000 to 10,000 spaces.
    • Increased wage top-ups by up to $2, depending on certification level ($0.50 for level 1, $1 for level 2, and $2 for level 3).
  • Alberta is on track to meet the commitment in the Alberta-Canada Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement to reduce child-care fees for licensed child care to an average of $10 a day by 2026.

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