Media releases | November 28, 2012

More families unable to access or afford childcare as province underfunds system

EDMONTON—Public Interest Alberta launched a new advocacy campaign today in cities across the province calling upon the Alberta government to invest in building a quality public early childhood education and care system.â��Albertans need to stand up and speak out for a new public early childhood education system that is affordable, accessible and high quality,â�� says Cherie Langlois-Klassen, Chairperson of Public Interest Albertaâ��s Childcare Task Force. â��We are launching this advocacy campaign because the time to speak out is now so that the government will address the growing crisis in childcare as part of their soon-to-be released social policy framework.â��Public Interest Alberta released a fact sheet today that uses data from a new national study on childcare and compares this to a similar study that was compiled using government statistics from 2004. The main findings from this fact sheet are:
  • Albertaâ��s per capita funding, for children 0- 12 years old, is the sixth lowest of all provinces.
  • The increase in the number of childcare spaces over the past 6 years has not kept pace with the increase in the number of children under the age of 6. The number of preschool children with a mother in the work force who did not have access to licensed childcare went from 69,368 in 2004 to 87,281 in 2010 ( 62% of all preschool children with working mothers).
  • The subsidy rate for low-income families is not keeping pace with the increased costs of childcare so many low-income families cannot afford to put their children in licensed care.
  • 50% of all childcare spaces in Alberta are for-profit as there is no government support for expanding not-for-profit and public childcare.
â��These figures clearly show why so many young families are on wait lists and unable to afford the high costs of childcare,â�� says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. â��It is time the Alberta government invested properly in building a quality public early childhood education and care system that will actually reduce the costs of quality care and address the critical needs of our growing population.â��To find out more about Public Interest Albertaâ��s advocacy campaign that calls on the government to commit to five solutions:Visit action-areas/childcareDownload the fact sheet-30- Media contact:Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director, Public Interest Alberta, (780) 993-3736