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Alberta early learning child care programs get $136M funding boost

The provincial and federal governments make an announcement about early learning programs in Alberta, Thursday, April 12, 2018. .
The provincial and federal governments make an announcement about early learning programs in Alberta, Thursday, April 12, 2018. . Morris Gamblin, Global News

The federal and provincial governments announced on Thursday they’re committing $136 million over the next three years towards early learning programs in Alberta.

The governments said the additional funding is intended to help parents with the rising costs of raising children and address the early learning and child-care needs of Alberta families.

The funding will focus on expanding Early Learn and Child Care (ELCC) Centres across the province.

READ MORE: $25-a-day daycare pilot project to be offered at 22 locations across Alberta

In 2016, the province announced it was starting a $10-million, three-year pilot project that would provide child care for a maximum of $25 a day for children aged zero to six.

The governments said the $136 million in additional funding is going towards launching 78 additional ELCC Centres across the province.

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The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives conducted a report that looked at daycare fees in cities across the country.

READ MORE: 4,500 more Alberta kids to get $25-a-day child care

Calgary ranked fifth highest at an average of $1,250 a month for infant care compared with Toronto, where the cost was $1,758, Mississauga, Ont., at $1,452, Vancouver at $1,360 and Kitchener, Ont., at $1,325.

The cheapest child care was $168 a month in Montreal. Quebec provides a significant amount of public funding.