The Government of Alberta is seeking input from early learning and child care partners on the implementation of the Cost Control Framework and proposed Funding Formula approach as part of the transformation of the Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) system.
This blog post dives into some important information regarding this engagement process and how it impacts dayhome providers, as well as some resources and links that will help you engage fully and completely with this process.
You can learn more about the ELCC Funding Formula Approach Engagement on the Government of Alberta website here: https://www.alberta.ca/early-learning-and-child-care-funding-formula-approach-engagement
Read on to learn more about some key pieces of this engagement.
What is the Cost Control Framework?
The Cost Control Framework (CCF) is essentially the roadmap that will pave the way for transitioning to a primarily government-funded Early Learning and Child Care system in Alberta (from one primarily funded by parent fees).
In a nutshell, the CCF is a plan for how the government intends to support this government-funded ELCC system, which includes ensuring that licensed child care operators, agencies, and educators receive enough government funding to continue offering quality child care.
Why is this important to you?
The Government of Alberta is currently seeking input from the dayhome sector regarding the expenses and costs that are associated with running a dayhome business. This is important to dayhome providers because this is an opportunity to help the Government of Alberta understand what it takes to run a quality dayhome program.
What could this mean in the future?
A carefully designed and effectively implemented Cost Control Framework (CCF) holds the potential to bring about significant benefits for dayhome providers. These benefits encompass enhanced financial stability, elevated service quality, and increased affordability for families, all while safeguarding the providers’ financial well-being. With the government taking on the responsibility of funding essential supplies and overhead costs, dayhome providers can anticipate a boost in their financial well-being.
But what’s at stake?
The most significant risk associated with a flawed implementation of the Cost Control Framework (CCF) is the potential negative impact on dayhome providers’ wages. If the government fails to allocate sufficient funding while imposing restrictions that hinder dayhome operators (like fee caps), it could result in inadequate compensation for the crucial work you do.
What about optional services in a dayhome settings?
In the survey, you’ll encounter questions about optional or enhanced services in dayhome settings. These services involve educators having the choice to charge parents an extra fee for optional services or use government funding to offer these enhancements within their core services. At ADSN, we believe an optional approach doesn’t align well with dayhome programs, as it can lead to situations where some children could be excluded. We are advocating that dayhome educators categorize enhanced services, such as field trips, as part of their core services to ensure inclusivity for all children.
This is why it’s so important for dayhome providers to participate in this engagement process so that the Government of Alberta gets a realistic and comprehensive overview of what it takes to run a quality dayhome program.
Children and Family Services is asking for input from dayhome educators to help them understand what it will take to adequately fund the dayhome sector, and we must participate to help ensure that they get it right.
We’re asking the entire dayhome community to engage in this opportunity to help CFS understand the costs associated with running a quality dayhome program. It will take approximately 30 minutes of your time.
Read the Discussion Paper here: https://www.alberta.ca/system/files/cfs-early-learning-family-day-home-educators-discussion-paper.pdf
Take the Survey Here: https://your.alberta.ca/elcc-funding-formula-approach-discussion-paper-feedback-portal/survey_tools/elcc-discussion-paper-feedback
Register for an In-Person or Virtual Engagement Session here: https://form.jotform.com/232835972525262
What are some key messages that we could be bringing to these in-person/virtual engagement sessions and within the engagement survey?
Here are a few suggestions for some key messaging that we can bring forward to government during this process.
1. Importance of Quality Childcare: Emphasize the importance of maintaining and enhancing childcare quality. Stress that children’s well-being and development must always be the top priority.
2. Support for Educators: Highlight the importance of ongoing professional development opportunities and support for dayhome educators to enhance their skills and knowledge.
3. Supporting Financial Viability: Advocate for a funding formula that acknowledges the distinct costs and operational efficiencies of dayhome programs. Stress the importance of ensuring that the funding approach does not negatively impact educators’ financial viability.
4. Unique Dayhome Perspective: Highlight the distinctiveness of dayhomes compared to facility-based care, emphasizing the need for a tailored approach. Dayhomes offer a unique environment where children receive individualized attention and the comfort of a home-like setting. It’s essential that the Cost Control Framework recognizes the specific challenges and opportunities that dayhome educators face. By embracing these differences, the framework can ensure that dayhomes continue to provide a valuable, personalized childcare experience while thriving in a sustainable manner.
5. Inclusivity and Optional Services: Address the concern that optional services in dayhome settings may lead to some children being left out. Emphasize the importance of inclusivity and fair access to all children, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay for optional services. Stress that the Cost Control Framework should ensure that every child in dayhome care receives a high-quality experience, without creating a two-tiered system where some children benefit from additional services while others do not.
Laura Woodman, PhD Student at the University of Alberta, has put together a multi-part video series on some of the key points regarding the ELCC Formula Funding Approach. You can watch Part 1 below.
Subsequent videos will be released to Laura’s YouTube channel next week.
Lack of Dayhome Data
In the family dayhome educator discussion paper, the government states that “data collected from FDH educators was highly variable, potentially due to a small number of respondents and inconsistent reporting, making it difficult to draw an accurate picture of FDH programming costs”.
Knowing this, we must fully engage in this engagement process or we risk important decisions being made without the input and expertise of family dayhome educators who are doing this work in the province.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the ELCC Funding Formula Approach Engagement, please don’t hesitate to reach out to ADSN for support.