LETHBRIDGE, AB – Nearly 200 new child care spaces will be opening across southern Alberta, in an effort by the provincial government to help get parents back to work.

The province says it’s investing a total of $9.7-million to create 1,500 more spaces in day homes, daycares and overnight care right across Alberta.

Applicants will be given their money by March 31, which can be used to complete renovations at existing facilities, open brand new care spaces, or add capacity for overnight child care.

Here in southern Alberta, the province is supporting the addition of 186 spaces in Lethbridge, Taber, Brooks, Medicine Hat and Bassano, which includes 39 overnight spaces.

The Alberta Government says it took population size, number of existing spaces and industry demand into consideration when allocating how many new child care spaces each area would receive.