A belated happy Mothers’ Day and early happy Fathers’ Day to my constituents. Our government cares about Albertan families and this May, I had the honour of meeting parents and children at the Louise Dean Centre who are benefiting from our government’s new $25/day childcare program. Thirteen existing child care centres officially opened as Alberta Early Learning and Child Care Centres, and nine more will open throughout the year. All of these will provide quality child care at a cost to parents of no more than $25 per day.
My colleagues and I are working to make life more affordable for parents by increasing access to quality, affordable, accessible child care, and I am proud to follow through on this election promise. Approximately 1,296 licensed child care spaces will be included in the program, with 714 of these as of May. Five of these centres are located in Calgary, and there will be 320 spots operating throughout the pilot program.
This support also helps families by allowing parents get back to work. By investing in quality child care, young children benefit from specialized and enriched programs, and working mothers are better able to return to work and support their families.
This is one way in which we are responding to the long-standing childcare crisis that working parents face. According to a 2016 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report, two-parent Canadian families spend nearly a quarter of their income on child care. That puts Canada among the most expensive countries for child care within this group of 35 wealthy countries. Single parents in Canada face an even tougher situation, spending nearly a third of their income on child care.
I believe Albertans deserve better, and our government is looking to implement a universal maximum of $25/day quality child care as the province’s finances permit.
My office is happy to hear from you, and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-216-5430. I’ll be available for the next Coffee with Craig at the Velvet Café (502 25 Ave NW) on June 10th from 10am-12pm.