Albertans left with no quality standards on childcare
EDMONTON - Last week Alberta Children’s Services released a report on their consultation regarding Child Care Licensing Regulation in Alberta.
There is clear evidence that parents, child care center operators and early childhood educators all want strong regulations that ensure the safety and quality of child care in Alberta. “We need strong regulations that ensure all child care in Alberta is quality child care,” says Alberta Federation of Labour secretary treasurer Siobhan Vipond. “Strong regulations help parents know they are getting high quality care that is supported by a government who cares”.
Early childhood educators highlighted the need to review current standards to ensure this workforce is equipped and skilled to handle the important work of early childhood education. “We cannot have a quality child care system in Alberta unless we have a well-educated and well-supported workforce,” says Vipond. “Still the UCP have cut so many programs and initiatives that actually support our early childhood educators.” So far the UCP have ended the Early Learning and Child Care Centre program, the northern living allowance, and a staff incentive grant. Child care operators, educators and parents are still waiting for the UCP to bring back some sort of quality standards after they unexpectedly cut the child care accreditation program back in the spring of 2020.
“There is clearly a need for an accessible, affordable child care system in Alberta. Many parents have struggled for decades with high costs and long wait times which are not addressed by parental subsidies”, says Vipond. “We need strong leadership as we continue to deal with COVID-19 and we desperately need an accessible quality child care system to help families be able to return to and stay working when it is safe to do so.”
What we are currently seeing is a federal government committed to funding child care as a key component to any economic recovery. Then we have the UCP government who is preoccupied with attacks on workers. The UCP needs to prioritize Albertan workers and families if they want to actually help the province, and a quality accessible child care system is a great place to start.
Director of Communications, AFL