EDMONTON - In response to today’s announcement by the province that they had reached a new agreement regarding child care funding, Public Interest Alberta Executive Director, Bradley Lafortune, released the following statement, clarifying the matter and demanding the provincial government negotiate a real new deal on child care for Alberta families:
“Sadly, today’s so-called news is just another bait and switch by the Kenney government. Alberta families watching BC and Nova Scotia arriving at game-changing framework agreements will be disappointed to know that today’s announcement by the province is not a new deal for $10-a-day child care but the continuation of a modest and existing bilateral agreement.
“It’s become all too clear that this government would rather play politics, leaving billions of dollars on the table and our children's futures in limbo, rather than focus on our common interests. There is simply no social, economic, or rational reason for Alberta to stand alone as other provinces continue to sign on with this agreement.
“Lack of access to affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care means that already-struggling working families are being forced to choose between child care and safe housing, healthy food, and other basic needs. In many communities across the province, the absence of affordable spaces means the only ‘choice’ families have is to stay home, leaving children without access to care, mothers unable to return to work, and child care centres at risk of closing permanently. Jason Kenney says he won’t take a “cookie-cutter” approach from Ottawa and that parents want choice, but the current state of child care in Alberta leaves parents and families with no choice at all.
“Public Interest Alberta calls on the UCP to immediately make clear its plans to negotiate a real new deal on child care. Until then, we will continue to campaign for a $10-a-day program that works for all Alberta families. Alberta’s kids, parents, grandparents, child care professionals - and our province’s future - all depend on these next critical steps. The time for $10-a-day child care is here and it’s now. We can’t let politics get in the way of this progress.”