New poll shows that 78 per cent of Albertans want to see action on universal child care coming out of COVID-19
EDMONTON - In a recent poll done for the Alberta Federation of Labour by Environics Research, Albertans were asked about their support for child care in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Over three quarters of Albertans responded that they supported the need for “Universal, public child care so parents, especially mothers, can more easily go back to work and earn wages”.
“Albertans clearly want to see action on universal child care, yet the Kenney government has left this crucial piece out of their economic recovery plan”, said Alberta Federation of Labour secretary treasurer Siobhan Vipond. “In fact, the Kenney government is taking us backwards on child care with continued cuts.”
As more Albertans return to work, there continues to be chaos and uncertainty in the child care sector in Alberta. The first twenty-two $25 per day Early Learning and Child Care Centres were slated to lose their funding at the end of June, but have now been extended to the end of July. What happens for families using those centres after that date is still unknown, as is the future of the remaining 100 centres in the pilot project.
“As we work on building back up our formal economy, investing in child care should be a priority for the government, yet Kenney’s plan is moving forward without a child care plan for working parents”, said Vipond. “The provincial government’s lack of action on child care means for many Albertans, mostly women, they are left ‘choosing’ between having a child or having a job.”
Child care is pivotal for Alberta families and workers to be able to participate in our economy and society. Without affordable child care centres open many workers, most often women, will not be able to return to their jobs.
“Women have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and this recession, yet the Kenney government refuses to even admit this fact”, said Vipond. “This government stubbornly refuses to use a gendered lens in policy making. If they did they would do the right thing and focus on policies, such as child care, which will improve the lives of women, families and our economy.”