Toronto – November 26, 2016 – Canada’s leading union welcomes the decision of Alberta’s NDP government to introduce $25-a-day child care at 18 daycare centres throughout the province. The government says it will invest $10 million in a new pilot project that will address gaps in Alberta’s child care system and boost the economy by creating 1,000 additional child care spaces and 230 new jobs.
“Our union applauds the Notley government for taking steps to make child care more affordable and accessible in Alberta,” says Paul Meinema, the National President of UFCW Canada. “Across the country, working families are struggling with the high and rising cost of child care, as well as a lack of affordable child care spaces, and so investments like this are essential to helping parents and children in need,” he adds.
As part of the pilot project, the government will encourage daycares to provide spaces for the children of shift workers, as well as children with special needs. The project will also aim to create child care spaces at accessible locations such as hospitals and other public buildings. The government says the project, to be launched in 2017, will be a step towards establishing a province-wide child care system.
As it stands right now, Quebec is the only jurisdiction in Canada that provides affordable, subsidized child care province-wide, and Quebec, Manitoba, and Prince Edward Island are the only Canadian provinces that cap child care fees. As a result, 81 percent of Canadian children aged 12 and under lack access to an affordable, regulated child care space.