Child Care is crucial for Alberta’s economic recovery

Alberta’s unions call for proper funding and a robust system of child care as Alberta moves toward economic recovery

EDMONTON - As more Albertans start to return to work and worksites, many of them will face barriers to return to work centered around child care.

Alberta workers are facing an urgent need for support when it comes to child care. Some workers are being forced to not return to work because of a lack of child care options. For some, there are currently not enough child care spaces available since child care facilities currently cannot operate at full capacity, and for others, centres are not able to reopen at all with the current circumstances.

“Child care has always been important to ensure that all Albertans have a chance to participate in the formal economy. With the closing of centres across Alberta this fact has become glaringly obvious,” said Siobhan Vipond, secretary treasurer of the Alberta Federation of Labour. “It was obvious when we needed to ensure that essential workers could continue working. It is becoming even more obvious as some businesses reopen and some workers navigate returning to work and worksites but face uncertainty when it comes to child care.”

Alberta unions are calling on the provincial government to take a leadership role in child care, and to help with this situation by immediately providing funding for more child care centres in Alberta. Any funding should be connected to a framework that works towards the goal of having a fully accessible system of child care in Alberta for every child, worker and family that would like to use it.

“Without these child care centres open many workers, most often women, will not be able to return to their jobs,” said Vipond. “Now is the time to really examine the requirements for all Albertans to benefit and participate in our economy – child care is one key element to ensure that no Albertan is left behind.”

“As we head down the road of economic recovery in Alberta now is the time to act boldly to ensure a fair start with universal early learning and child care for all Albertans,” concluded Vipond.

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MEDIA CONTACT:
Ramona Franson
Director of Communications, AFL
rfranson@afl.org