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Will it help families living in poverty?

December 6, 2016 Bromley Chamberlain, ATA News Staff

Ramsankar reacts to government’s new child-care program

Alberta Teachers’ Association president Mark Ramsankar is looking forward to seeing the outcomes of a new $10 million child-care program that will create 1,000 new child-care spaces.

Announced in late November as the first step toward $25-per-day child care in Alberta, which was an NDP campaign promise during the 2015 election, the program will invite non-profit organizations to apply to develop 18 new early learning and child-care centres across the province.

While the program will certainly help families, it’s important to assess whether or not it helps families in poverty, Ramsankar said.

“When you are lowering the price, is it enough to enable families that are living below the poverty line to still afford quality child care? That will remain to be seen after the program has been put in place,” Ramsankar said.
“People don’t realize that in Alberta so many children live in poverty. When you have parents that need to work, having viable places and opportunities is vital.”

The new centres will cap fees at $25 a day and be located in areas where the demand is greatest. The government will announce these locations in early 2017.

Premier Rachel Notley hopes the program will lead to more accessible child care in Alberta’s future.
“Our government is keeping its promise to make child care more accessible for Alberta families,” she said in a press release. “Investing in quality child care will make life more affordable for parents and prepare our children for success.”

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