The NDP promised to make child care more accessible and affordable during the election campaign, and they are making good on that promise — Elisabeth Ballermann, NUPGE Secretary-Treasurer
Edmonton (18 Nov. 2016) — Following up on a promise of making child care affordable in Alberta, Premier Rachel Notley has announced massive new funding for Alberta's child care program.
The investment of $10 million will create 1,000 new affordable child care spaces. The spaces will be created through the establishment of 18 new Early Learning and Child Care Centres around the province. The daily cost for the care will be capped at $25 per day.
Affordable child care has positive impact
"The NDP promised to make child care more accessible and affordable during the election campaign, and they are making good on that promise," says Elisabeth Ballermann, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "Research has shown the impact affordable child care can have on the economy, allowing women to return to the workforce more smoothly and with the success of children."
"We are equally impressed that the new child care spaces will be administered by not-for-profit agencies," Ballermann continued. "We need regulated spaces with qualified workers to care for our children. We don't need an agency looking to increase its profit at the expense of children."
A long-term funding commitment from the federal government needed
The announcement of another province helping their citizens obtain affordable, quality child care is good news. However, NUPGE echoes the concerns of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada (CCAAC) relating to the overall child care crisis across the country. "The child care crisis cannot be resolved unless the federal government provides substantial financial support to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communites, " said Morna Ballantyne, executive director of CCAAC. "
"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," Ballantyne said.
“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."
Make a nationally funded child care program a reality
Delegates to NUPGE's 2016 Convention passed a resolution to continue to demand a nationally funded child care program that is universal and accessible. "Our members realize the importance to Canadian families of a national child care program that is accountable to parents and communities," stated Ballermann. "NUPGE will continue to lobby the federal government to make this program a reality."
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE