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Early childhood education and care in Alberta: Comparison between 2004 and 2010 ‐ Key findings

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Public Interest Alberta
Fact sheet
Publication Date: 
28 Nov 2012

Excerpts from media release:

New Statistics Shows Childcare Crisis Worsening
More families unable to access or afford childcare as province underfunds system

Public Interest Alberta launched a new advocacy campaign today in cities across the province calling upon the Alberta government to invest in building a quality public early childhood education and care system.

"Albertans need to stand up and speak out for a new public early childhood education system that is affordable, accessible and high quality," says Cherie Langlois-Klassen, Chairperson of Public Interest Alberta's Childcare Task Force. "We are launching this advocacy campaign because the time to speak out is now so that the government will address the growing crisis in childcare as part of their soon-to-be released social policy framework."

Public Interest Alberta released a fact sheet today that uses data from a new national study on childcare and compares this to a similar study that was compiled using government statistics from 2004. The main findings from this fact sheet are:

  • Alberta's per capita funding, for children 0- 12 years old, is the sixth lowest of all provinces.
  • The increase in the number of childcare spaces over the past 6 years has not kept pace with the increase in the number of children under the age of 6. The number of preschool children with a mother in the work force who did not have access to licensed childcare went from 69,368 in 2004 to 87,281 in 2010 ( 62% of all preschool children with working mothers).
  • The subsidy rate for low-income families is not keeping pace with the increased costs of childcare so many low-income families cannot afford to put their children in licensed care.
  • 50% of all childcare spaces in Alberta are for-profit as there is no government support for expanding not-for-profit and public childcare.

"These figures clearly show why so many young families are on wait lists and unable to afford the high costs of childcare," says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta. "It is time the Alberta government invested properly in building a quality public early childhood education and care system that will actually reduce the costs of quality care and address the critical needs of our growing population."

To find out more about Public Interest Alberta's advocacy campaign that calls on the government to commit to five solutions: