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Child care open for essential workers in Hinton

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

The province has approved the reopening of the Hinton Kids for Success Child Care facility to provide childcare for essential workers. 

The facility previously provided a licensed out-of-school care option for children ages 5-12, and can now provide care for up to 24 children.

Four Hinton Kids for Success staff will be called back to work that had been temporarily laid off when the facility closed in March. Additional safeguards for the program include reducing the number of children per room, additional cleaning and sanitization measures, and policies surrounding children and staff not attending when sick.

Online registration opened on April 22 and care will commence on April 27. A release from the Town stated that eligible parents should only access this childcare if it is the only way they can go to work in an essential services sector.

All licenced childcare facilities, including daycares, out-of-school care, and preschool programs were closed by the Government of Alberta in March. Home-based non-licensed childcare providers were exempt from the closures as they have fewer children in their care. 

Approved family day homes also remain open but are restricted to a maximum of six children, not including their own children. Allowing them to remain open provides additional childcare spaces for people who need to continue to go into work or have children at home due to school closures.

The Town submitted a request to reopen the Hinton Kids for Success Program after the province expanded the list of essential service workers for whom the availability of childcare was necessary. 

A letter to the Minister of Children’s Services demonstrated that there was a need in the community, stated Josh Yaworski, Hinton’s EOC public information officer. 

“This demand was summarized from a scan that we completed among critical frontline service agencies such as Alberta Health Services, RCMP and Fire Rescue,” Yaworski said.

Enhanced sanitation practices are required by all child care providers. These practices include cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, having hand washing facilities or hand sanitizer available to children, not allowing sick visitors and children to enter, and ensuring visitors wash their hands frequently.

Essential service workers should contact the Hinton Kids for Success Program at (780) 740-8064 or register online on the Hinton Kids for Success webpage.

The program will operate on a first-come-first-served basis if there are more than 24 applicants. These conditions have been set by the province.

Care is offered between the hours of 7:45 am and 6 pm. To access care through an approved family day home, use the Child Care Lookup on the Government of Alberta website.