Calls on provincial government to move towards implementing a universal early childhood education and care system in Alberta.
Edmonton – At an educational breakfast this morning, dozens of concerned labour activists from 29 different electoral districts across Alberta gathered to launch the Fair Start campaign. A campaign calling on the Government of Alberta to take action on early childhood education and care.
"All children deserve a fair start in life and investing in early childhood education and care is one of the best ways to achieve this goal", said Siobhan Vipond, Secretary Treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour.
Alberta currently has significant limitations in the delivery of a comprehensive, universal early childhood education and care program. It has the second highest childcare fees in the country, the third lowest per capita number of spaces, and a reliance on an ineffective web of subsidies and tax credits to get parents some support for encouraging participation in early chilldhood education and care.
"Studies show that a child’s early years are some of the most important for the development and learning. We have a responsibility as a province to set them on the right track for life", said Vipond, "universal access to early childhood care and education is a key component in our set of social programs that create a productive and healthy Alberta. By giving all children a fair start, we all benefit."
Children who participate in quality Early Childhood Education and Care experience higher educational and professional attainment, lower risk for conflict with the justice system and better physical and mental health
The AFL's campaign will continue over the next month with lobby meetings with Members of the Legislative Assembly, a website calling for action (www.fairstartalberta.ca) and concluding with public events in Calgary and Edmonton happening on Mother's Day.
Olav Rokne, Communications Director, Alberta Federation of Labour at 780.218.4351 (cell) or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org