The Notley Government is taking steps toward creating $25-a-day child care. Premier Rachel Notley, against the backdrop of moms holding kids at MacEwan University, announced not-for-profit organizations can apply to develop 18 new early learning and child care facilities in major centres.
“There’s no question that this a fundamental priority for our government because it has such a profound impact on families, on women, on children, and on communities.”
The $10 million pilot project plans to create 1,000 spaces. Some of those spaces will be in public facilities like hospitals, and other buildings that operate 24/7 so child care can be available for parents who work odd shifts or part-time outside of regular day care hours.
Notley told reporters she’s hoping the expand the program once the economy improves, however she couldn’t give an estimate on when that would be.
“So of course we would like to be able to offer it to every family that wants it, but we can’t. We hope to be able to offer it primarily to those families who need it the most. And we certainly hope to build greater levels of support for this effort across the population as a whole.”
The locations of the eighteen new child-care centres will be targeted for those areas where the demand is greatest. The deadline to apply is Jan 20, 2017
“We’ll be moving forward in incremental steps that don’t get us across the province in the immediate term,” she said. “It’s one of those things that as the economy improves this is, and always has been a critical priority for our government. We see this matter as being something that builds community, also supports and grows the economy.”
Status of Women minister Stephanie MacLean said one outcome of this program they hope to see fewer careers for women, stalled. “As the boomers retire we will notice gaps in our workforce. As about thirty per cent of women with children under five are not in the workforce at all we have a significant talent pool to draw from. Nearly half of Alberta moms who work part time say that they would work full time if only they could afford the child-care.”
It’s expected this program will create approximately 230 new jobs.
(630 CHED News)