Today Alberta’s NDP government announced it will spend $10 million on creating 1,000 new child care spaces through the establishment of 18 new Early Learning and Child Care Centres. Parents who access these centres will see their daily fee capped at $25.00.
“The Alberta NDP promised in its election platform to make child care a priority. It is exciting to see that, even in light of a tough fiscal situation, the government has chosen to direct public funds to create more child care, which is so desperately needed,” said Morna Ballantyne, Executive Director of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC).
“We are especially glad to see that the child care expansion will be only in the non-profit sector; that it will be publicly managed rather than leaving it up to the “child care market” to decide where the centres will be located; and that that the centres will receive base-funding to make spaces more affordable for parents,” added Ballantyne.
CCAAC noted that the child care crisis in Canada cannot be resolved unless the federal government provides substantial financial support to provinces, territories and Indigenous communities. The federal government also needs to play a leadership role in developing, with other levels of government, an early learning and child care policy framework to develop and support affordable, high quality child care for all families who need it.
“It’s impossible to expect provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to fix this cross-Canada problem on their own. That’s why we want to see a long-term funding commitment from the federal government in the 2017 federal budget,” said Ballantyne.
CCAAC restated its position that the federal government’s promised National Framework for Early Learning and Child Care must set the stage for building a comprehensive system rather than the patchwork of inadequate child care services that fail to serve children, parents, or the country’s economic growth.