Manitoba Daily

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Alberta and ottwa reach for adorable child-care agreement

Key sentence:

  • PM Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta are scheduled to disclose the specifics of a child-care agreement.
  • In some parts of the province, particularly in northern Alberta, families can pay upwards of $1,200 per month per child.

On Monday morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Jason Kenney of Alberta are scheduled to disclose the specifics of a child-care agreement.

In a news statement Sunday evening, the government declared that an agreement for “affordable, high-quality child care” had been achieved.

Kenney and Alberta Minister of Children’s Services Rebecca Schulz will join Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, and Minister of Families, Children, and Social Development Karina Gould at a news conference in Edmonton on Monday at 10:30 a.m. MT.

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As part of this year’s budget, which was published last April, Ottawa pledged $30 billion over five years and $8.3 billion in the short term to develop a quality and affordable child-care system.

It’s a game-changer

Any new plan must meet three conditions, according to the government budget:

  • The funds must be directed “mainly” to non-profit early childhood education centres.
  • The training of early childhood educators must be paid for with public funds.
  • By the end of 2022, the funds must be used to half average child-care fees and lower child-care expenditures to an average of $10 per day by 2026.

Nicki Dublenko, chair of the Association of Early Childhood Educators of Alberta, said $10-a-day child care will be transformative, despite not knowing the terms of the deal until Monday’s news conference.

“That is a game-changer in and of itself because there are individuals, mostly women, who want to work but can’t afford to, especially if they have numerous children. So their entire salary is dedicated to child care, “According to Dublenko.

“They compare child care to mortgage payments that families must make until their children can attend school.”

Ottawa, Alberta reach deal for 'affordable, quality child care,' province  says | CBC News

Dublenko claims that child care is in crisis.

In some parts of the province, particularly in northern Alberta, families can pay upwards of $1,200 per month per child, according to Dublenko.

The Ottawa agreement, according to Dublenko, could not have arrived at a better time, as child care in the province has been “in a state of crisis” since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Some programmes are still struggling from low enrolment and hefty pandemic-related costs,” she said. “Families are in desperate need of assistance, and child-care programmes are in desperate need of assistance to stay afloat.”

Before the federal election was called, the Alberta government began talks with Ottawa in July.

Kenney demanded that the federal government provide unconditional financing for early learning and child care in the province, comparable to what Quebec has negotiated.

Shannon Doram, President and CEO of the YMCA Calgary, and Heather Gomme, owner and director of It’s a Child’s World Family Day Home Agency, will join the government representatives at the news conference.

Source: CBC News

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