The Association of Alberta Childcare Entrepreneurs (AACE) said there will be rolling closures of childcare centres across the province because of challenges from the Canadian government’s $10 per day childcare program. “Our industry is dedicated to finding solutions that prioritize children’s welfare and maintain the excellence of our services,” said AACE Chair Krystal Churcher in a press release. “However, the government’s current implementation of the $10/day childcare program is leading us down a path where the quality and choice of childcare in Alberta are at risk, with potential unintended consequences for children and families.” The AACE said it supports and is committed to affordable, high-quality childcare. The decision for these closures comes after two years of voicing concerns to the Canadian government’s Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement. Churcher called these closures “a sounding alarm, a wake-up call to make parents aware of the unintended negative impacts of the affordable childcare program.”To keep some childcare operators afloat, the AACE said it needs immediate emergency funding. Beyond financial concerns, she said it was troubled by the core versus enhanced services policy. These policies could create disparities among children and harm their social and emotional well-being. She addressed misconceptions by saying this fight is not about raising fees or profit margins. Rather, she said it is about addressing $10 per day childcare’s $1 billion underfunding and inflexible policies crippling its ability to serve families. The AACE called for a balanced approach from the Canadian government. She said it will need policies that preserve the quality of childcare and respect the diverse needs of families. Under the current implementation, $10 per day childcare fails to address the costs and unintended consequences on the system. Churcher concluded by saying the AACE will “stand united for a future where every child in Alberta has access to nurturing, supportive and high-quality childcare.”“We advocate for a system that values choice, preserves quality, and protects our children,” she said. The AACE said on January 23 it was being strong-armed into accepting a deal for the Canadian government’s $10 per day childcare agreement with the Alberta government.READ MORE: Alberta childcare operators say they will ‘reluctantly’ sign on to Liberal’s $10 daycare agreementChurcher acknowledged childcare operators had no choice but to sign the 2024 Affordability Grant Agreement or face drastic service reductions and insolvency.“This decision should not be considered a win for the Alberta government, the government of Canada, or for the childcare sector,” she said.