EDMONTON—“As today is National Child Day, we feel it is critical to ask the provincial government what it intends to do with the additional $25.9 million it received this summer as our share of the federal transfer to provinces to create more childcare spaces” said Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta.
“Alberta only spent $118 million of its $147 million childcare budget last year and unless we hear an announcement soon for plans for the new federal money, it looks like the Alberta government will be taking money from childcare again”.
“Ask any parent who is looking to find quality childcare and you will hear that most centres or family day homes have long waiting lists,” said Cheri Langois-Klassen a young Edmonton Lawyer with one year old twins. “The government cannot say it has resolved the childcare crisis while young families like mine are unable to find quality care, and struggle each month to pay for it.”
Pam Taylor, an instructor in the Grant MacEwan College's Child and Youth Care program, says, “Alberta's early childhood education and childcare system is stretched to the limit as more young families are moving here. We need to go way beyond Alberta's five point plan if we are going to expand and build the high quality childcare options people are looking for that will actually attract enough people into being early childhood educators.
”Noreen Murphy, Executive Director of Churchill Park Childcare Centres in Calgary says “The $25.9 million from the federal government would make a huge difference for building better access to childcare not only in Calgary but also in many small communities where there is no other option for many parents but to put their children into poor quality, un-regulated care.The need for quality child care spaces, especially infant spaces, is critical and the negative consequences of leaving children in environments not conducive to healthy child development are well documented world wide."
"The Alberta government's failure to announce plans to use the new money from the federal government is a perfect example of why the federal Bill C303 that will be debated in parliament today is an important step in providing the accountability and transparency required to build a quality childcare system," says Moore-Kilgannon.
“Bill C303 would also help to make sure that public money will not go into increasing the profit margin of a foreign controlled multinational company that is currently seeking to buy up existing centres across Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia. Likewise, Alberta must establish its own strong safeguards to make sure that our provincial childcare funding goes to providing greater accessibility to quality childcare, not subsiding corporate childcare.”
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