Text of the press release:
The Alberta Government announcement today that they have exceeded their space creation goal and are now going to shift to sustaining the existing 90,000 childcare spaces, gives the false impression that there are enough childcare spaces and no waiting lists.
"We applaud the government's efforts over the last 3 years to increase the number of childcare spaces in the province, but it is important to put the situation in context -- Alberta still has a struggling childcare system and many families are unable to find quality childcare that they can afford," says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta.
There are a number of important questions that still need to be addressed:
- How much of the $25 million coming from the Federal government for childcare space creation has been used to create these spaces?
- Why is the Alberta government implying they are cutting the Space Creation Innovation Fund when the federal government should still be providing the funding for this program?
- Has the government done a detailed review of the increasing demand for spaces and looked at which communities need additional quality childcare spaces?
- What portion of the government funds for space creation has gone to support private for-profit real estate development?
- How much public money has gone to the newly created corporation Edleun, that has raised over $41 million dollars on the TSX and is now the largest childcare provider in Alberta?
"Of course the government wants to pat themselves on the back for creating much needed childcare spaces, but let's not kid ourselves: we still have a long way to go to build a real quality childcare system in this province," says Moore-Kilgannon. "Alberta still spends among the lowest of all provinces per capita on childcare, and Alberta's young families need a real commitment to maintain the investment in a quality childcare system.