Authorized by Public Interest Alberta (780 420 0471)
If even one kid living in poverty is too many, what is 164,000 children?
In Alberta, 1 in 6 children live below the poverty line. This is unconscionable in such a wealthy country and province -- ending child poverty is a moral obligation for all of us.
The research shows us without a doubt that allowing any child to live in poverty has ripple effects. When children grow up in poverty, it affects their mental health, educational attainment, employment, and housing throughout their lives, and they are more likely to remain in low-income status as adults.
Investing in ending child poverty now means better outcomes for everyone. Childhood poverty leads to less healthy adults with more serious health and social problems. This means greater stress on our health care and social support systems. Investing in prevention now means we avoid those downstream costs and we build healthier communities. These impacts benefit all of us, regardless of our economic status.
One key intervention in child poverty is affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care and early learning. Child care is one of the biggest household expenses, up to two-thirds of a low-income family’s monthly income. Access to high-quality, universally-accessible, and affordable child care is a proven method for lowering child poverty and is an especially profound intervention for single mothers, who are among the most affected by poverty. Studies show that children in places with universal access to child care have better physical health, developmental, and psychological conditions by age six.
We can’t leave children trapped in life-long cycles of poverty. We must act now, especially during the pandemic when even more people are struggling. We have a moral obligation to end child poverty in our province, and the result would be a more healthy and compassionate society for all of us.
Will you join the fight to end child poverty?
On January 16th, 2019, Public Interest Alberta held a press conference at Jasper Place Child Care & Family Resource Centre to release the summary of their 2018 Child Care Survey.
In addition to overall conditions in the child care sector, the survey sought to gain insights into the impact of of the Government of Alberta’s Early Learning and Child Care (ELCC) Centres pilot program, also known as the $25-a-day program. The results are clear: the pilot program is a success. While the child care sector continues to face challenges such as long wait lists, the ELCC program significantly reduces those barriers to high-quality child care. Through public funding, the ELCC centres are better equipped to support children with complex needs, and are able to hire and retain better-trained staff.
The continuation and expansion of the ELCC program should be a cornerstone of government priorities for strong public services.
Public Interest Alberta in the News
by Carly Robinson, CityNews
by Regan Hasegawa, CTV News Edmonton
by Dylan Short, Calgary Sun
On Friday, December 2, 2016, 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 highlight concerns related to accessibility, affordability, and quality of early learning and child care in Alberta.