The provincial government being concerned over a proposed national child-care program is drawing criticism from the NDP opposition.
Children’s Services critic Rakhi Pancholi joined us on the Trending 55 Hot Seat and says affordable child care is one of the biggest barriers to getting Albertans with young children back to work.
“Child care right now in Alberta in most parts of the province, including in the Peace River area, is over $1000 per month for one child. That’s really unaffordable for so many parents. This should be something we should be taking very seriously and the province should be taking seriously to sit down and negotiate with the federal government to get dollars to help working parents in Alberta.”
Pancholi adds that Alberta does have unique challenges for child care, such as having the youngest population in Canada, the biggest pay gap between men and women and the lowest employment rate for women in the country.
The government has said that supporting it would leave limited options for families, but Pancholi says there are ways to make child care more affordable and flexible.
“There’s nothing to suggest that we shouldn’t be looking at more flexible working child care spaces for parents who work in shift work. We need to look at making sure if day homes might make more sense in rural areas than day cares. That’s certainly going to serve the needs of parents in places like La Crete and the Peace River area.”
Pancholi was this week’s guest from the NDP on the Trending 55 Hot Seat, you can listen to the full discussion.
– Kyle Moore, Trending 55 Newsroom