With 40,000 new child care and early learning spaces in 10-year funding deal announcement, Trudeau government's plan falls far short of the growing need for a universal child care framework, in Alberta and across the country.
"The federal government's announced framework is a missed opportunity," said Siobhan Vipond, secretary treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour. "Terms of the funding could allow for expansion of the Alberta Government's pilot program to create $25 spaces, but this announcement doesn't show the national leadership needed to help provinces create a truly universal system. It will only address a small fraction of the need."
"Our children deserve a fair start with a universal child care and early learning system. But, it isn't just the right thing to do for kids and families - it's the smart thing to do for our economy. For every public dollar spent on public child care, we see up to $2.78 of economic benefit according to a recent TD Bank study."
New spaces are only one small part of the overall need in early learning and care. Investing in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) workers is key to making sure that child care spaces are not just affordable and accessible, but provide high quality care - by ensuring strong staffing, training, and retention of ECEC workers. "We know how committed these workers are to the care and learning of our kids. We need to make sure the government is supporting these workers, ensuring they have the training and wages they deserve so they can focus on what matters: our children."
Alberta Federation of Labour continues to call on our governments to support children and families with Fair Start Alberta, a campaign to implement universal Early Childhood Education and Care that supports children, workers, women and families in Alberta.