Blog | March 29, 2014

By Charles Lefebrve, Medicine Hat News Concerned stakeholders, child care workers and parents spoke Thursday evening in Medicine Hat of the challenge in finding and maintaining quality child care in the province.Public Interest Alberta held a presentation at St. John’s Presbyterian Church, attracting a full crowd of concerned citizens.“We had an extremely good turnout, with a number of child care workers, parents and people invested passionate about the state of child care in the province speak on Thursday,” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, executive director of Public Interest Alberta over the phone on Friday.Affordability, accessibility and quality of child care are the three components people in the province and Public Interest Alberta are concerned about, which were key topics of discussion at the meeting.Moore-Kilgannon spoke about the subsidy program, which he said was not doing enough to help low-income families enrol children in licensed facilities.“For a single parent with two kids, even with the subsidy, it is costing close to $500 a month to put their kids in day care,” he said.As a result, low-income families are enrolling children in unlicensed facilities, which are not covered by the subsidy, or not enrolling children in day care at all.“It is preventing parents from going back to school or going to work, which affects the economy,” said Moore-Kilgannon.Moore-Kilgannon also spoke about how difficult it is for day care and child care workers to expand their skills to ensure quality, saying some day care workers end up in debt due to the costs. In the 2013 budget, the quality funding grant was cut by the government.“Child care is one the government’s top priorities in the social policy framework,” he said, adding the government is hoping to eliminate child poverty by 2017. “Hearing stories from people about the realities of child care is essential for changes to be made.”Read the story at Medicine Hat News