Media releases | December 02, 2016

EDMONTON—Today Public Interest Alberta, in partnership with the Terra Centre for Teen Parents and Early Childhood Development Support Services, released the results of a province-wide survey of child care operators. The responses highlighted concerns related to accessibility, affordability, and quality of early learning and child care in Alberta.

“Nearly half of low-income families receiving care from the child care providers surveyed are paying more than $300 per month for care,” said Joel French, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. “The Government of Alberta’s recent announcement that it will fund 18 Early Learning and Child Care Centres while capping fees before subsidy at $25 per day is a significant step in the right direction.”

The results highlighted concerns about the quality of care available in many early learning and child care programs.

“It has long been the case that training of Alberta’s early learning and child care workforce is an area requiring significant investment and improvement,” said Line Perron, Executive Director of Early Childhood Development Support Services. “The government’s new Early Learning and Child Care Centres have potential to be models of quality care as they work to implement Alberta’s curriculum framework, but that can only be done effectively with highly-trained staff — that means introducing higher educational requirements and catching up to other provinces by establishing standards for professional development.”

The survey results also showed that availability of spaces is severely limited for infants and children with special needs.

“Increasing spaces for infants must be a priority,” said Carol Sullivan, Manager of Early Child Development Services at the Terra Centre. “The key to being able to provide that care is well-trained staff, which is the primary area in need of significant new investment by government.”

“We are looking forward to seeing continued action from the government to build a comprehensive early learning and child care system for Alberta,” continued Sullivan. “Without high-quality, affordable, accessible child care, parents and their children are less likely to achieve goals that support their future well-being.”