Legacy Childcare in Slave Lake recently received some COVID-19 relief funding, but enrollment remains limited.
Legacy Childcare has 184 licensed spaces, says executive director Abi Rayner. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, it is only allowed to operate with a limited number of people. This number hasn’t changed since it reopened in June.
The daycare was closed from the end of March to June 15, says a June 17, 2020 Leader article. On June 15, it opened with 21 children and nine staff.
Legacy Childcare rents space from the Legacy Foundation. This is by a corporation with five partners: Town of Slave Lake, M.D. of Lesser Slave River, Lesser Slave Lake Childcare Society, and Sawridge First Nation. The daycare had asked for rent forgiveness for April and May, when it wasn’t open.
The daycare received federal rent assistance for April and May, says Town of Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman. The program pays 50 per cent, the Legacy Foundation 25, and the daycare 25. However, the daycare is still struggling, as it can’t run at full capacity.
The child care relief funding comes from Alberta’s Recovery Plan and the federal Safe Restart agreement.
An Alberta government media release says, “licensed day care, out-of-school care, family day homes, group family child care, innovative child care and preschool programs will benefit from grant payments.” In September, each Albertan licensed facility received $109 per approved space. In October and November, these receive $200 per approved space, plus $2,500 per approved agency.
Before COVID, says the news release, 15 per cent of Albertan children were registered in child care. At that time, 80 per cent of licensed spaces were filled. This was 109,000 children. As of September 11, there were 50,202 children in these facilities.
The September enrollment is 46 per cent of pre-COVID-19 numbers.